PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Second-seeded Plymouth State University advanced to its sixth consecutive Little East Conference women's lacrosse championship game, coasting past third-seeded Keene State College Thursday afternoon, 10-2, in an LEC semifinal game at Arold Field.
The Panthers dominated the Owls, scoring the first five goals of the game before the visitors got on the board late in the first half. It was a 7-1 PSU lead at the break, and a 10-1 game midway through the second half before Keene State got one more goal with three minutes to play. PSU led wire-to-wire, won the battle of ground balls, 29-10, and outshot the Owls, 37-15.
Plymouth State, 12-4 overall and winners of eight in a row, advances to the LEC Championship game Saturday at top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University (1:00 p.m.) after the Warriors dumped fifth-seeded Southern Maine in Thursday's other semifinal, 21-4. PSU and ECSU have met in four of the previous five LEC title games, with the Panthers winning three and the Warriors one. Plymouth State defeated Eastern Conn. in last year's championship game, 9-5.
Eastern Conn. (12-5 overall) won this year's conference regular season title on the strength of a 9-8 overtime win over Plymouth State on Apr. 7 at Manchester, N.H.
A group of seniors led PSU past Keene State on Thursday; Kelsey MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) scored four goals and assisted on another while collecting 10 ground balls and seven caused turnovers; Annie Pinault (Framingham, Mass.) contributed two goals, two assists, and two ground balls; and Amanda Spadafora (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) chipped in with two goals, nine ground balls and six caused turnovers. Freshman Taylor Cambal (West Yarmouth, Mass.) also scored twice for the winners.
In addition, MacDonald went over the 200-point milestone for her career, the fourth player in school history to reach the milestone. She now has 148 goals, 53 assists and 201 points.
Freshman Lauren Cooper (Danbury, Conn.) scored the first-half goal for the Owls, and senior Steph Georgevits (Concord, N.H.) tallied one in the second half. Keene State dropped to 8-6 and hopes for an ECAC New England Tournament berth when the field is announced on Monday.
Sophomore Jen Gearing (Westfield, Mass.) was busy in the Keene State net and finished with 14 saves. Junior Suzie Lilakos (Stratham, N.H.) earned the win in the Panther cage with eight saves.
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