Panthers capture second straight LEC regular season title
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – The Plymouth State University women's lacrosse team captured at least a share of its second straight Little East Conference regular season championship Wednesday afternoon, defeating the University of Southern Maine, 15-5, on Senior Day at Arold Field in a battle of the last two unbeaten teams in the LEC.
The Panthers extended their winning streak to six games, improving to 10-2 overall and 5-0 in the Little East. PSU has also won 11 straight LEC regular season contests dating back to last season. USM suffered its first conference loss of the spring and fell to 10-6 overall and 4-1 in conference play.
Plymouth State also clinches the top seed in next week's Little East Tournament, while Southern Maine will be the #2 seed. Both schools will have first-round byes on Tuesday (Apr. 30) and will host a semifinal contest on Friday, May 3rd.
PSU got a balanced scoring attack, with five players tallying at least two goals. Sophomore Meghan McNabb (Lexington, Mass.) led all scorers with four goals and one assist, while senior Caitlin Swanson (Holderness, N.H.) notched three goals and an assist. Sophomores Amy MacDonald (Hull, Mass.), Shannon Connerty (Nashua, N.H.) and Molly Gleason (Haverhill, Mass.) chipped in with two goals apiece.
The Huskies were led by freshman Sarah Pelligrinelli (Southington, Conn.), who scored two goals, while junior Jenna Cyr (Limerick, Maine), senior Samantha Purcell (Durham, Maine) and sophomore Nicole LaPlante (South Portland, Maine) picked up a goal apiece.
Purcell scored the first goal of the game for USM just a minute after the opening draw, but the visitors didn't score again until eight minutes had gone by in the second half. MacDonald tied the game for PSU with her first goal at the 22:26 mark of the first half, and Swanson gave the home team the lead for good 29 seconds later. Connerty, McNabb and Gleason added goals for PSU to make it 5-1 with 10 minutes to go in the half, and three more goals gave the Panthers an 8-1 margin at the break.
After Swanson opened the scoring for PSU to start the second half, USM came to life with three of the next four goals, including two by Pelligrinelli that made the score 10-4. PSU tallied the next five goals to put the game away.
Junior goalie Lorin Field (Hollis, N.H.) made nine saves before giving way to senior Ally Baribault (Middle Haddam, Conn.) for the final four minutes. USM junior Kim Vogel (Sanford, Maine) finished with 12 saves in the Husky net.
PSU recognized its five seniors and their parents prior to the game – Swanson, Baribault, defenders Kristen Guest (Sandwich, Mass.) and Marie Lander (Ossipee, N.H.), and midfielder Amanda Richardson (Bradford, N.H.)
Plymouth State wraps up the regular season with two road games – Thursday in a non-conference affair at Fitchburg State University and Saturday in an LEC match-up at Rhode Island College. USM plays its final regular season game Saturday at UMass Dartmouth.
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