Panthers suffer second straight OT setback
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Ryan Foster scored his only goal of the game 44 seconds into overtime Saturday afternoon as Western Connecticut State University nipped Plymouth State University, 10-9, in Little East Conference men's lacrosse action at Panther Field.
PSU rallied from an 8-6 deficit with three unanswered goals midway through the fourth quarter to take a 9-8 lead with eight minutes remaining. The Colonials responded with the tying goal with 7:39 left in regulation, and neither team was able to score in the remaining time in regulation.
After winning the opening face-off of overtime, WestConn's first shot was stopped by the PSU goalie but the Colonials maintained possession. Senior Mike Gillis passed the ball from behind the net to Foster on the left side, and Foster fired in the game-winner. Western won its fourth straight game to improve to 9-4 overall and 4-1 in the Little East, while PSU suffered its second straight overtime setback and dipped to 8-4 overall and 2-3 in conference play.
The Colonials also got an outstanding performance from senior goalie Tyler Martone, who made a season-high 18 saves to record the victory. PSU senior Jack Tyo was strong at the other end, making 12 saves.
PSU freshman Nick Morello led all scorers with four goals, while sophomore Chris Annunciata added three goals and one assist. Sophomore Zach Frank added a goal and two assists, while junior Chris Moloney chipped in with one.
Senior Raul Bourgeois led the visitors with three goals, while seven others had one goal apiece. Gillis and freshman Taylor Leahy led the team with two assists each.
Senior Eric Small had a good day in the midfield for WestConn, winning 15 of 20 face-offs and picking up a game-high nine ground balls. PSU's top face-off man suffered a game-ending injury on the opening draw of the contest and with the No. 2 face-off man already injured, PSU relied on reserve face-off men the rest of the game.
The first three quarters of the game see-sawed back and forth. WestConn scored the first two goals before PSU came back to lead 3-2, and the game was tied at 3-3 at the half. Western tallied the first three goals of the second half to pull ahead, 6-3, but PSU scored six of the next eight goals over a 15-minute span to regain the lead, 9-8.
Both teams play rival games on Tuesday as PSU hosts Keene State College at Panther Field while Western Conn. visits LEC-leading Eastern Connecticut State University.
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