Late Panther rally falls just short
DANBURY, Conn. – Fourth-seeded Western Connecticut State University advanced to the semifinals of the Little East Conference women’s lacrosse tournament Tuesday afternoon with a 13-12 win over fifth-seeded Plymouth State University at the Westside Athletic Complex.
The Colonials, 9-8, earn the right to play the tournament’s #1 seed, Eastern Connecticut, Thursday afternoon in Mansfield, CT. Face-off is slated for 3:00 pm. PSU concludes its season with a 7-8 record.
WestConn raced out to a 3-0 lead then built the advantage up to 7-1. At that point, with 8:30 remaining in the first half, sophomore Nicole Perrone had already recorded a hat-trick.
The Panthers came alive and scored seven of the next nine goals, including a pair each from Caitlin Swanson (Holderness, N.H./Plymouth Regional) and Carol Messler (Durham, N.H./Oyster River), and drew within a goal at 9-8. Perrone added her team-leading 52nd goal off a pass from Brianna Mitterando with 19:41 left in the contest, giving the Colonials a small cushion, 10-8.
WestConn's lead grew back to four after it scored three unanswered goals, including unassisted strikes by sophomore Emily Brooks and senior Lauren Poppe, for a 12-8 advantage with 11:35 left.
Even though the Colonials went up 13-10 on Brooks' 13th marker of the season, the Panthers would not go quietly. Kristin Guest (Sandwich, Mass.) and Amanda Richardson (Bradford, N.H.) added goals in the final 2:29 to make it interesting down the stretch, but time was not on the visitors's side and the Colonials escaped with the victory.
Leading the WestConn offense were Perrone and Brooks , each with four goals. Junior Kaitlyn Arconti and sophomore Devon Edwards each scored twice, while Poppe added a goal and four assists.
Freshmen Mekenna Bay (Maracaibo, Venezuela) topped PSU with three goals, while Messler, Swanson, and Richardson tallied two apiece. Swanson led the Panthers with three assists.
Karli Portnoy earned the victory between the pipes after making 10 saves. Freshman Lorin Field (Hollis, NH) made 11 saves for Plymouth State.
(Courtesy of Western Connecticut Sports Information)
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