Colonials rally to hand Panthers LEC setback
DANBURY, Conn. – Junior Kelsey Heaton (New Milford, Conn.) scored seven goals, including three in overtime and the game-winner with 33 seconds left in the extra session, lifting the Western Connecticut State University women's lacrosse team to a thrilling 15-14 overtime win over Little East Conference rival Plymouth State University Saturday afternoon at the Westside Athletic Complex.
The outcome capped a tremendous rally for the Colonials, who trailed 12-8 with 21 minutes to go in the second half. Western pulled to within one goal (12-11) with nine minutes to go, and Hyla Costello forced overtime with the tying goal with 19 seconds remaining.
Regulation play was a see-saw battle. Western held leads of 4-1 and 7-4 in the first half before PSU rattled off four unanswered goals to take an 8-7 lead at halftime. The Panthers pulled ahead with three straight goals in the first five minutes of the second half, but Western came back to force OT.
Heaton and PSU junior Rachel Fistori (Medford, Mass.) traded goals in the first three minutes of overtime. Heaton and PSU junior Molly Gleason (Haverhill, Mass.) exchanged scores to open the scoring after the teams changed ends of the field, and Heaton netted the game-winner on a free-position shot with 33 seconds remaining.
The Panthers had a balanced scoring attack as junior Amy MacDonald (Hull, Mass.) and freshmen Caroline Vonachen (Framingham, Mass.) and Kaitlyn Wilder (Framingham, Mass.) tallied three goals apiece. It was MacDonald's 100th career goal. Junior Shannon Connerty (Nashua, N.H.) added two goals and Gleason tallied a goal, two assists and a game-high 10 draw controls.
Heaton was supported on the Colonial offense by Destinee Carey, who notched two goals and two assists, and Costello finished with two goals.
PSU senior Lorin Field (Hollis, N.H.) made a season-high 22 saves to earn the win in goal for PSU. Karli Portnoy stopped 10 shots in the Western Cage.
The Panthers are back on the field Wednesday with a conference match-up at the University of Southern Maine.
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