MacDonald, Connerty score three goals each to lead Panthers
BIDDEFORD, Maine – Senior Hannah Tavella (Putnam Valley, N.Y.) notched a career-best eight goals Tuesday afternoon to lead the University of New England women's lacrosse team to an 18-12 non-conference win over Plymouth State University in the Panthers' season opener at the Big Blue Turf.
Juniors Amy MacDonald (Hull, Mass.) and Shannon Connerty (Nashua, N.H.) tallied three goals apiece to lead Plymouth State, and MacDonald factored in four other scores with assists. Freshman Jordyn Godfrey (Glenville, N.Y.) added a pair of markers. Junior midfielders Molly Gleason (Haverhill, Mass.) and Rachel Fistori (Medford, Mass.) combined for 15 draws, helping the visitors to an 18-14 edge in the category.
Senior starter Lorin Field (Hollis, N.H.) made six stops between the pipes for the Panthers, and surrendered 11 goals before giving way to junior Casey Curran (Framingham, Mass.), who closed with six saves in the last 26:13.
UNE junior Hannah Warren (Harrison, Maine) matched a personal-high with four goals, and classmate Gina Newsome (Danbury, Conn.) added two. Senior defender Johanna Currier (Holderness, N.H.) recorded eight draw controls in addition to scoring once. Sophomore Courtney Kendall (Waltham, Mass.) posted 11 saves to get the decision in goal.
Warren put the hosts in front less than five minutes into the match, but three PSU scores in a span of 61 seconds shortly after swung the advantage the other way. Connerty registered the first two.
UNE junior Nikki Smith (Shapleigh, Maine) got one back 47 seconds later -- the first of eight unanswered over 14 minutes for Big Blue. Six different players found the back of the net in the stretch.
Plymouth State trimmed the margin to 9-5 by intermission, and Gleason opened the 2nd half with a marker just 25 seconds in to make it 9-6. Following two by Tavella, the Panthers put in five of the next six goals -- all by different players -- to get within one (12-11) with 17 minutes to play.
But Warren captured the ensuing draw and raced right to the cage in 10 seconds to double the cushion, and the Nor'easters controlled play down the stretch while extending the lead to the final difference. UNE finished with a 37-33 advantage in shots.
In the first meeting between the teams since 2005, the Nor'easters got their first victory against the Panthers in five tries. At 3-0, Big Blue is off to its fastest start since the 2001 campaign.
Big Blue takes to the road on Thursday for a 7 p.m. date against No. 12 Bowdoin College. Plymouth State (0-1) visits Springfield College on Saturday (3 p.m.).
(Courtesy of Univ. of New England Sports Information)
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