Panthers defeat LEC favorites
MANSFIELD, Conn. -- Junior Katie Sheridan (West Sayville, N.Y.) scored four goals and an assist, and junior goalkeeper Carmen Villanueva (East Schodack, N.Y.) didn't allow a goal in the last 15 minutes of the game Saturday afternoon, leading Plymouth State College's women's lacrosse team to a 13-9 victory over Eastern Connecticut State University in key Little East Conference match-up.
PSC (5-2, 2-0 little east) scored on two of its first three shots before the match was three minutes old to take an early lead and never trailed. Eastern (0-4, 0-1 little east) tied the match at 3-3 with 13:44 left in the first half on the second of four goals by sophomore attack Mo Deegan (Westport, Conn.) but was never able to take the lead.
It was the first match since March 30 for Eastern, which has had three matches postponed due to rain since that time. It was only PSC's second game since Mar. 27.
The game was a battle of the top two teams in the conference coaches' pre-season poll. No. 2 pick Plymouth State defeated No. 1 pick Eastern by four goals in each of last year's first two meetings -- once in the regular season and once in the conference playoff finals -- before the Warriors bounced back to win 8-6 in the championship match of the ECAC New England Tournament.
A goal by freshman midfielder Kara Mastroianni (Newington, Conn.) Saturday pulled Eastern to within one, 5-4 with 10 minutes left in the first half but the Panthers countered with the next five goals -- the final two of the first half and the first three of the second to move ahead, 10-4 with 26 minutes left.
Sheridan, last year's conference Offensive Player-of-the-Year, took 10 of her team's 28 shots. She had three of her goals in the first 20 minutes. Freshman attack Bethany Brown (Norwich, Conn.) added three goals and an assist, scoring all of her goals in a five-minute span. Freshman Lilly Silva (Lowell, Mass.) added two goals and two assists, junior Michelle Norton (Sandwich, Mass.) contributed two goals and one assist, and seniors Melissa Cotton (Osterville, MA) and Jill Matteson (Chatham, Mass.) chipped in with one each.
Eastern's top scorer was Deegan, who also had an assist to go along with her four goals.
Villanueva made 14 saves for PSC, while junior Erika Blozie (South Windsor, Conn.) stopped eight for Eastern. All of Blozie's saves came in the first half.
The Panthers get right back into action Sunday with a non-conference match-up at Bowdoin College (2:00 p.m.). Eastern hosts Western Connecticut Monday at 4 p.m. in a conference match that was re-scheduled from this past Tuesday.