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Panthers fend off Babson

WELLESLEY, Mass. - Plymouth State College scored three goals in a key five-minute stretch of the second half on its way to a hard-fought 12-8 win over Babson College in non-conference women's lacrosse action on Friday night. It was the seventh straight win for the Panthers, who improved to 7-1 overall, while the Beavers saw their season record fall to 3-6.

After a goal by Plymouth State junior Janet Conner (South Freeport, Maine) gave the Panthers an 8-4 lead early in the second half, sophomore Sarah Siciliano (Newton, Mass.) and first-year Alexa Rad (Upper Brookville, N.Y.) scored consecutive goals for Babson to cut the deficit to two. However, the Panthers responded with a three-goal outburst that gave them their largest lead of the contest at 11-6, as sophomore Michelle Norton (Sandwich, Mass.) capped off the run with her third score of the night at 15:21.

Babson made its final run with just under 10 minutes remaining, as Siciliano and Rad scored back-to-back goals just 36 seconds apart to pull the Beavers to within three. However, Plymouth State goalie Melissa Gravilla (Andover, N.H.) would prove unbeatable the rest of the way, as she made the last of her 21 saves in the closing seconds to clinch the 12-8 victory.

Norton and fellow sophomore Katie Sheridan (West Sayville, N.Y.) were both outstanding for Plymouth State. Sheridan tallied three goals and two assists, while Norton added three goals and one helper. Freshman Annmarie Gugleilmo (Gansevoort, N.Y.) and senior Robin Hartman (Westminters, Md.) also contributed two goals apiece.

Rad finished with a game-high four goals for Babson, while Siciliano added three scores. First-year Margaret Schlachter (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) made 11 saves in net for the Beavers, who will host Salve Regina on Sunday afternoon at 1 p.m.

Plymouth State continues its weekend road trip with a Little East Conference match-up Saturday at Eastern Connecticut (2:00 p.m.).