PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Senior Mo Deegan (Westport, Conn.) recorded three goals and two assists Saturday afternoon to lead second-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University to a dramatic 12-8 upset victory over top-seeded and three-time defending champion Plymouth State University in the title game of the 2005 Little East Conference Women's Lacrosse Tournament at PSU's Arold Field.
Eastern Conn., 12-6 overall, captured its first LEC Championship after finishing runner-up in 2002 and 2003, and receives an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament, the first in school history. The Warriors used a stifling defense against Plymouth State, holding the Panthers to their third-lowest offensive output of the season. ECSU sophomore Kara Bradley (North Haven, Conn.) anchored the Warrior defense and was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
It was a very low scoring game in the first half. PSU scored twice in the first 10 minutes to take a 2-1 lead, but Eastern answered with three straight goals to take a 4-2 advantage. The Panthers added another goal with 13 second left in the half to make it a 4-3 game at the break.
Eastern Conn. started to pull away in the second half, but sophomore Kelsey MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) scored three straight goals for PSU to tie the game at 6-6 with just under 15 minutes to play. The Warriors continued to press, scoring four unanswered goals over the next eight minutes, to go up 10-6 with 5:37 on the clock.
PSU was able to score two more goals in the closing minutes, put Eastern had an answer each time, and the Warriors held on for the victory.
Bradley played a strong defense along with fellow Eastern defenders sophomore Emily Constant (Franklin, Conn.), senior Xiomara Lopez (Groton, Conn.), and freshman Meghan Harris (Bedford, Mass.)
Deegan led the Warriors with the five points, while senior Ashley Able (Mystic, Conn.) finished with three goals. Freshman Lily Anderson (Portland, Maine) contributed two goals and an assist, freshman Megan Gloster (Agawam, Mass.) added two goals, Bradley had a goal and an assist, and sophomore Jenna Faiola (Billerica, Mass.) scored once.
MacDonald led the Panthers with four goals and an assist, along with eight ground balls. Junior Nicole Evans (Scituate, Mass.) contributed two goals, while sophomore Liz Boddy (Brentwood, N.H.) and junior Caitlyn Irving (Avon, Conn.) added one goal each. Sophomores Meg Cupoli (Southboro, Mass.), Annie Pinault (Framingham, Mass.) and Amanda Spadafora (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) collected one assist each, with Spadafora also picking up six ground balls.
Sophomore Erin Calkins (Stony Brook, N.Y.) was solid in the Warrior goal, making seven saves. PSU senior Kristin Elliott (Exeter, N.H.) made five saves before being replaced for the last five minutes.
PSU had several streaks stopped with the loss. PSU had won six consecutive conference championships (three in the New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance and three in the Little East), and had been unbeaten in 30 previous LEC contests, including regular season and tournament play.
The Panthers had rallied from a three-goal second-half deficit at Eastern on Apr. 9th of this season to pull out an 11-10 victory.
-- 30 --