Panthers win 12th straight, claim share of LEC title
GORHAM, Maine – Freshman Meghan McNabb had two goals and six assists Wednesday afternoon to lead the visiting Plymouth State University Panthers to a 14-8 victory over the University of Southern Maine Huskies in a Little East Conference women's lacrosse match at Hannaford Field.
The win was the 12th straight for the Panthers since their season-opening, overtime loss at Springfield College. The Panthers are now 12-1 overall, and unbeaten in the conference (5-0). PSU has clinched at least a share of the LEC regular season title, as well as the top seed and a first-round bye in the upcoming LEC tournament that starts next Tuesday. The Huskies dropped their second straight game to slip to 6-10 overall and 2-3 in LEC play.
McNabb set a PSU single-season record for assists with her first helper six minutes into the game. She had tied the previous mark of 32 set by Katie Sheridan in 2004, and now holds the record with 38.
Freshman Shannon Connerty, sophomore MeKenna Bay and junior Caitlin Swanson each had three goals for the Panthers. Freshman Amy MacDonald chipped in two goals and one assist. Freshman Molly Gleason had nine draw controls.
For the Huskies, rookie Julia Pearl led the offense with three goals. Sophomore Jacki Kelly had a goal and two assists, and junior Shelby Turcotte contributed a goal and an assist.
Sophomore goalie Lorin Field registered 11 saves in the PSU cage. Sophomore Kim Vogel was credited with six saves for USM.
The Huskies grabbed a 1-0 on Kelly's goal less than a minute into the match. McNabb would set up Bay less than six minutes later for the equalizer. Nine minutes later, McNabb dished off to Connerty for the goal that put the Panthers ahead for good. Swanson converted a free-position attempt 24 seconds later to make it 3-1.
The Panthers pushed their advantage to 5-1 before Pearl countered for the Huskies. The teams would battle through the final 8:14 of the half without further scoring leaving the visitors up 5-2 at the break.
Southern Maine opened the second half scoring when junior Lauren Santo slipped a shot past Field. PSU responded with three goals in a span of 1:18 to go up 8-3.
Pearl would spark a 3-1 run by the Huskies scoring twice. Junior Samantha Purcell got the third goal at 16:10 to cut the Panthers' lead to 9-6.
Four consecutive PSU goals, including two by Bay, over the next six minutes gave the visitors some breathing room. The Panthers worked the clock over the final 10 minutes to frustrate the Huskies' effort to come back.
Southern Maine will close the regular season on Saturday (3:00 p.m.) hosting the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. Plymouth State will be at home Saturday at 3:00 p.m. for Senior Day, playing Rhode Island College. It will be just PSU's second game this season at Arold Field.
(Courtesy of Southern Maine Sports Information)
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