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April 7, 2007

Eastern Connecticut nips PSU Women’s Lax in overtime

MANCHESTER, N.H. - Senior Jenna Faiola (Billerica, Mass.) and junior Lily Anderson (Portland, Maine) scored overtime goals Saturday evening to lift Eastern Connecticut State University to a dramatic 9-8 victory over Plymouth State University in a key Little East Conference women's lacrosse game played at Southern New Hampshire University.

Faiola, who finished with three goals, and Anderson, who ended up with two, both scored in the first overtime to put the Warriors up by a pair. PSU senior Kelsey MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) got one back for PSU late in the second overtime, but Eastern held on for the victory. EastConn posted its fifth straight win to improve to 6-3 overall and 3-0 in the LEC this spring, while PSU falls to 4-3 overall and 0-1 in conference play.

The outcome also marked PSU's first LEC regular season loss after 29 straight wins since the conference started women's lax in 2002. The Panthers are now 38-2 all-time in regular season and conference play-off games, with both losses coming at the hands of ECSU; the first was in the LEC Tournament title game in 2005 at Plymouth, N.H.

MacDonald led the Panthers with four goals, six ground balls and three draw controls. Senior Annie Pinault (Framingham, Mass.) contributed three goals and one assist as well as three draw controls, and classmate Meg Cupoli (Southboro, Mass.) chipped in with three assists.

Sophomore Megan Gloster (Agawam, Mass.) led the Warriors with four points on two goals and two assists. Freshman Taylor MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, Mass.), Kelsey's younger sister, led the winners with seven ground balls.

Kelsey MacDonald gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead three minutes into the game. Pinault and ECSU senior Kara Bradley (North Haven, Conn.) traded goals midway through the first half, and sophomore Megan Gloster (Agawam, Mass.) tied it up for Eastern with 10 minutes on the first-half clock. The Warriors got two goals in the final eight minutes of the half to take a 4-3 advantage into the break.

PSU rallied in the second half, scoring the first three goals to take a 6-4 lead. EastConn answered with three straight of its own in a five-minute span, the last two by Faiola to take a 7-6 lead with less than five minutes remaining. PSU would not go quietly, as MacDonald evened the score at 7-7 with 3:31 on the clock, setting up the two three-minute overtime stanzas and the dramatic finish.

Both goaltenders had busy nights between the pipes. Junior Suzie Lilakos (Stratham, N.H.) made 14 saves in the Panther net, and senior Erin Calkins (Stony Brook, N.Y.) earned the win with a 12-save effort in the Warrior cage.

PSU returns to action Tuesday with a non-conference game at Colby College (4:30 p.m.) The game was moved to the turf at Colby due to snow on PSU's Arold Field. The Panthers lost to Colby twice last season, once in the regular season and once in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

EastConn. will seek its sixth win in a row Wednesday at home against UMass Dartmouth (4 p.m.)

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