Second-half rally lifts Huskies over Panthers
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomores Shelby Turcotte and Lauren Santo combined to score nine goals Wednesday afternoon, including seven in the second half, as the University of Southern Maine rallied for a 16-10 victory over Plymouth State University in a key Little East Conference women’s lacrosse game at Arold Field.
Turcotte tallied five goals and Santo added four as the Huskies overcame a 6-5 halftime deficit to pull out the victory. USM outscored the home team 11-4 in the second half to pull away to the win, improving to 7-9 overall and 4-1 in the Little East.
Plymouth State got four goals from freshman Emily Buckle (Danbury, Conn.) and three from sophomore Caitlin Swanson (Holderness, N.H./Plymouth Regional), but fell to 7-6 overall and 2-3 in conference play.
It was a close, see-saw battle in the first half, with the score tied four different times. PSU freshman Mekenna Bay (Maracaibo, Venezuela) scored with 1:15 to play in the half to put the Panthers ahead at the break, 6-5.
After Buckle’s goal a minute into the second half put the home team up 7-5, USM rattled off four unanswered goals to take the lead for good. Santo scored two in the rally and Turcotte and senior Erica Higginbotham one apiece. Swanson answered for PSU with 19:49 on the clock, cutting the Panther deficit to 9-8, but USM came right back with two more goals to make it a three-goal margin, 11-8.
The Panthers did not go down easily, as freshman Carol Messler (Durham, N.H.) scored with 11:33 remaining to pull PSU to within two, 11-9, but USM was too strong in the second half, scoring the next three goals, including two by Turcotte, to put the game away.
USM outshot the Panthers 38-28, including a 24-14 margin in the second half. The Huskies won the ground ball battle, 28-18, while PSU controlled 15 of the 28 draws. Sophomore Samantha Kiesel made 13 saves to post the win for the visitors, while PSU freshman Lorin Field (Hollis, N.H.) made 11 saves at the other end of the field.
The Huskies were also bolstered by the play of freshman Jackie Kelly, who picked up eight ground balls, and freshman Rosie Forster, who scored three goals and collected a team-high five draw controls. Senior Mary Vaughan also contributed two goals and two assists for the Huskies.
Both teams wrap up the regular season this Saturday with conference home games, PSU hosting Western Connecticut State University and USM meeting league-leading Eastern Connecticut State University. The PSU-WestConn game will determine fourth place in the conference and home-field advantage in the first round of next week’s LEC Tournament, while USM will be playing for a chance at a first-round bye and the home-field edge in Thursday’s conference semifinals.
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