WATERVILLE, Maine - Colby College proved to be too strong Wednesday evening, defeating Plymouth State University, 21-5, in the first round of the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Tournament at Bill Alfond Field.
Colby scored the first five goals of the game in the opening seven minutes, and pulled away to an 11-1 lead midway through the first half. The Mules, who led 15-3 at halftime, maintained control the rest of the way and went on to improve to 14-3 overall with a victory in their first-ever NCAA Tournament game. Colby moves on to face rival Bowdoin College Saturday at 11:30 a.m. at Middlebury College in a NCAA Regional semifinal.
Plymouth State, which was making its fourth NCAA Tournament appearance this decade, and its seventh straight post-season berth, completes its campaign at 13-6 overall. The Panthers were hoping to avoid a repeat of the regular season contest, which was won by Colby, 24-15, but that was not the case.
"I'm very proud of our team," said PSU head coach Paula Habel. "While the outcome was not what we wanted, I was very proud of how hard we played. This was an excellent experience for our team. We're disappointed now, but I'm sure we'll look back on this season with pride."
Five players did most of the damage for the Mules. Junior Allie Libby (Needham, Mass.) led the way with six points (three goals, three assists) while sophomore Lauren Barrett (Fairfield, Conn.) had four goals and one assist and freshman Kate Sheridan (Hingham, Mass.) three goals and two assists. Senior Kelsey Neville (Duxbury, Mass.) chipped in with three goals and one assist and Elizabeth Ghilardi (Norwell, Mass.) finished with two goals and two assists.
Senior Bethany Brown (Norwich, Conn.) led the Panthers with a pair of goals, while junior Meg Cupoli (Southboro, Mass.) added one goal and one assist. Senior Nicole Evans (Scituate, Mass.) and junior Liz Boddy (Brentwood, N.H.) also scored for PSU, and senior Caitlyn Irving (Avon, Conn.) and junior Kelsey MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) each collected an assist.
PSU's NCAA Tournament berth capped a season that included winning streaks of five and eight games, Little East Conference regular season and tournament championships, and post-season honors for six players and Coach Habel.
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