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PSU Women’s Lax downs RIC in Little East quarterfinal

Freshmen lead Panthers into semifinal at Western Conn.

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshmen Kaitlyn Wilder (Framingham, Mass.) and Caroline Vonachen (Framingham, Mass.) combined for five goals and four assists Tuesday evening as third-seeded Plymouth State University defeated sixth-seeded Rhode Island College, 17-5, in a Little East Conference women's lacrosse tournament quarterfinal game at Panther Field.

            Wilder tallied a game-high five points on three goals and two assists while Vonachen added two goals and two assists to lead a balanced PSU attack.  Junior Molly Gleason (Haverhill, Mass.) and sophomore Emily Tilton (Cranston, R.I.) chipped in with three goals apiece, and Gleason contributed five draw controls and five ground balls.

            PSU improved to 10-4 on the season and advances to Friday's semifinal contest at second-seeded Western Connecticut State University (3:00 p.m.) The Panthers will be looking to avenge a 15-14 overtime loss at Western two weeks ago.

            Senior goalie Taryn Carbone (Cranston, R.I.) had an impressive day in the Anchorwomen goal and finished 18 saves. Junior Harmony Tillison (Cranston, R.I.) led the offense with a pair of goals, while senior Jessalyn O'Neill (North Providence, R.I.) notched a goal and an assist. Senior Sam Nolte (Cranston, R.I.) collected a team-high four ground balls and won three draws, and junior Lauren Maisano (Bristol, R.I.) grabbed four draw controls. RIC wraps up its season at 7-8 overall.

            Despite PSU jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first 10 minutes of the game, the visitors played strong and challenged the higher-seeded home team. Junior Danielle Landon (Wading River, N.Y.) scored her 41st goal of the season with 16 minutes left in the first half to make it a 3-1 game.

            Just as they did last Saturday in the regular season finale against RIC, the Panthers pulled away in the last 12 minutes of the first half. PSU rattled off six unanswered goals, including two by Tilton and two by junior Rachel Fistori (Medford, Mass.), to open up a 9-1 margin. Tillison got one back for RIC but it was a 9-2 score at the intermission.

            PSU scored five of the first six goals in the second half to open up a 10-goal lead and the home team coasted home the rest of the way.

            Senior goalie Lorin Field (Hollis, N.H.) made six saves and allowed four goals to earn the win, including career save No. 500. Junior Casey Curran (Framingham, Mass.) stopped four shots in the final 12 minutes off the Panther bench.

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