Panthers advance to third straight title game Saturday at Keene State
MANSFIELD, Conn. – Junior Caroline Vonachen (Framingham, Mass.) scored the tying and game-winning goals in the final seven minutes Thursday afternoon as fourth-seeded Plymouth State University upset top-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University, 13-12, in the Little East Conference women's lacrosse tournament semifinals at the Mansfield Complex.
PSU, now 11-6, advances to its third straight LEC Championship match and ninth overall. The Panthers will travel second-seeded Keene State College for Saturday's title game, the third straight championship game between the two schools, with the road team winning the previous two. Plymouth State also avenged a one-goal loss at No. 1 Eastern two weeks ago; the Warriors finish their season at 10-7.
Plymouth State scored the final three goals over the final eight minutes. Down 12-10, sophomore Megan Tingley (Natick, Mass.) scored with 7:52 on the clock, and Vonachen evened the score with seven minutes left and connected on the game-winner with just under five minutes remaining.
Freshman goalie Emilee Wargo (Madison, Conn.) made four saves over the final 23:34 after replacing starter Meg Brault (South Windsor, Conn.) after the Warriors took their first lead, 9-8. Wargo's final save came from a point-blank shot with 38 seconds to play.
Vonachen finished with a game-high five goals, while Tingley recorded two goals and three assists. Sophomore Sam Sullivan (Canton, Mass.) added three scores and junior Kaitlyn Wilder (Framingham, Mass.) chipped in with a goal and an assist. Tingley also won six draws for PSU.
Michaela Pinto led the Warriors with four goals, while Katie Burke registered three goals and two assists and Paige Schneider finished with three goals.
Each team went on streaks in the first half, as PSU scored five straight goals to open up a 6-1 lead, only to see the Warriors pot four in a row the cut the deficit to one goal (6-5) at the half. The home team scored four of the first six goals of the second half to take a 9-8 lead with 23 minutes remaining. The teams alternated goals over the next 14 minutes, when Eastern held a 12-10 lead.
PSU's game against Keene State on Saturday is a rematch of the regular season game on Apr. 19, when the Owls outscored the Panthers 8-0 over the final 27 minutes to post a 14-9 victory.
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