PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Brianna Davis (Framingham, Mass.) scored five goals Thursday afternoon as Plymouth State University rallied from behind to defeat rival Keene State College, 9-8, in a pivotal Little East Conference women’s lacrosse game at Arold Field.
The Panthers (9-4 overall, 5-1 LEC) won their fifth consecutive contest, taking over first place in the conference and clinching at least a share of the LEC regular season championship. The Owls, who were 3-0 against PSU last year, had their nine-game winning streak snapped and fell to 11-4 overall and 4-1 in the LEC.
PSU earns part of an LEC regular season title for the first time since 2006. Keene State and Eastern Connecticut State University are tied for second place in the LEC at 4-1, and can tie Plymouth State for the regular season title with wins on Saturday; the Owls host Southern Maine and Eastern Conn. entertains Rhode Island College.
Senior Kalie Judd (Peabody, Mass.) added two goals and an assist for the Panthers, as well as four draw controls and two ground balls. Davis (right) and senior Kerry D’Ambroise (Lowell, Mass.) also collected four draw controls apiece as PSU won 15 of the 19 draws on the day.
Freshman Nicole Curry (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton) led the Owls with three goals, and junior Jamie Albert (Southington, Conn.) and sophomore Caitlyn Corace (Mahopac, N.Y.) also recorded three points each with a goal and two assists.
Judd scored the only goal of the first 10 minutes of the game to give the home team an early lead. Plymouth State enjoyed the possession battle in the first half, winning nine of 10 draws, but the Owls scored three unanswered goals midway through the half to take a 4-2 lead. Keene appeared headed into the intermission with a two-goal lead (5-3) when junior Lauren Sawyer (Westbrook, Maine) scored with just 15 seconds on the clock, but Davis won the ensuing draw for PSU and sprinted down to score with five seconds left, pulling the Panthers to within one goal, 5-4, at halftime.
Plymouth State scored the first four goals of the second half to take the lead for good, two by Davis and one each by Judd and sophomore Britney Chiles (North Andover, Mass.). The Owls came back with consecutive goals by junior Jenny Lillis (West Islip, N.Y.) and Curry to make it a one-goal game (8-7) with nine minutes to play.
Davis tallied her final goal of the afternoon with just under six minutes to play, and PSU held off the Owls down the stretch, including a couple of key saves by senior goalie Morgan Lemmon (Gilford, N.H.) Corace brought the Owls to within a goal with 45 seconds to play, but PSU won the ensuing draw and ran out the clock.
Both teams wrap up the regular season on Saturday, Plymouth State hosting Norwich in a non-conference game on Senior Day at Arold Field and the Owls hosting Southern Maine in an LEC game for Senior Day in Keene.
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