PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Plymouth State College advanced to its second straight ECAC Division III New England Women's Lacrosse Championship game Saturday with a solid 18-9 victory over Western New England University in a semifinal game at Arold Field.
PSC extended its winning streak to eight games and improved to 13-3 overall. The top-seeded Panthers will host third-seeded Eastern Connecticut, 10-5, for the ECAC title at 1:00 p.m. Sunday at Arold Field. ECSU upset second-seeded Springfield College, 15-8, in Saturday's other semifinal in Springfield, Mass. Fourth-seeded WNEC completes its season at 11-7.
Junior Katie Sheridan (West Sayville, N.Y.) continued her dominating offense for the Panthers, scoring a team-high nine goals and two assists against WNEC. Sheridan has scored 27 goals in her last three games, and is one of the national scoring leaders with 79 goals, 22 assists and 101 points.
Junior Shannon Pizzingrilli (East Rochester, N.Y.) had a strong game for the Golden Bears, scoring three goals and assisting on three others.
Sheridan scored four goals and two assists in the first half as PSC led 7-3 at the break. She added two more goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half as the Panthers surged to a 13-5 advantage.
WNEC came alive, scoring four unanswered goals to pull to within four (13-9) with 15 minutes to play, but Sheridan answered for PSC with her final two goals, and the Golden Bears didn't score the rest of the way.
In addition to Sheridan, the Panthers got three goals and an assist from freshman Bethany Brown (Norwich, Conn.), two goals and an assist from junior Michelle Norton (Sandwich, Mass.), and one goal apiece from seniors Jill Matteson (Chatham, Mass.), Julie Shields (Whtiby, Ont.), Melissa Cotton (Osterville, Mass.), and Eileen Rice (Nashua, N.H.). Brown is second on the team with 44 goals, and Norton is third with 26.
Pizzingrilli received support from senior Jamie Carney (Orleans, Mass.) and sophomore Kristen Pimental (Tiverton, R.I.), who had two goals apiece, and junior Whitney Boucher (Tyngsboro, Mass.) and senior Christie Pfister (East Greenbush, N.Y.), who chipped in with one goal each.
PSC goalie Carmen Villanueva (East Schodack, N.Y.) made nine saves for the Panthers, while WNEC goalies Tara Cushman (Scituate, Mass.) and Sarah Metsky (Succasunna, N.J.) combined for 10 stops.
Sunday's championship game will be the sixth meeting in the last two seasons between PSC and ECSU. Plymouth State won the regular season (9-5) and Little East Conference Tournament decisions (12-8 in overtime) over Eastern in 2002, but the Warriors came back to knock off the Panthers in the ECAC Championship game (8-6). PSC has won the first two encounters this spring, 13-9 in the regular season and 20-8 in the Little East Tournament championship game.