Tingley, Dubois lead Panthers to sixth straight win
MANSFIELD, Conn. – Senior Megan Tingley (Natick, Mass.) posted her second straight six-point game and sophomore Sydney Dubois (Goffstown, N.H.) recorded a third-straight hat trick as Plymouth State University held off Eastern Connecticut State University, 14-11, in a key Little East Conference (LEC) women's lacrosse contest at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex on Saturday afternoon.
In a rematch of last year's LEC Championship game, the Panthers roared out of the gates to take a 9-0 lead through the first thirteen minutes. ECSU fought back in the second half, pulling to within three goals on three separate occasions, but senior goalkeeper Clarissa Foote (Weare, N.H.) and the Panthers' defense wouldn't allow the Warriors to get any closer.
Tingley kicked the scoring off with the first of her four goals in the opening four minutes. The goal sparked a string of nine-straight for the Panthers. Sophomore Sydney Dubois (Goffstown, N.H.) and senior Veronyca Daniels (Concord, N.H.) scored 30 seconds apart to push the lead to 3-0, and seniors Sam Sullivan (Canton, Mass.) and Sophia Guerriero (Essex, Mass.) both scored in a 16 second span to make it 5-0 after less than nine minutes of action.
Daniels and Tingley each scored their second goals of the game as Plymouth surged to a 7-0 advantage just 10:17 into play, and junior Kimberly Zuccaro (Townsend, Mass.) and sophomore Sam Fiore (Merrimac, Mass.) capped the scoring run with goals just 27 seconds apart as PSU went ahead 9-0.
The Warriors fought back with four straight tallies over a five minute span, but Tingley and Zuccaro both scored in the final nine minutes to push the Panthers' lead to 11-4 at the intermission.
ECSU slowly chipped away in the second half. The Warriors scored in the opening minute and added a second goal on a shot from junior Michelina Pinto (Groton, Conn.) four-and-a-half minutes later to cut the deficit to 11-6. Dubois notched her second of the game to temporarily slow the momentum.
The Warriors continued to battle, trimming the margin to 12-9 with a string of three free position goals, the last coming with just under 14 minutes remaining. Tingley countered with a free position score of her own, but Pinto answered right back for ECSU less than a minute later.
Dubois responded with her third goal of the day to push the PSU lead back to four, 14-10. A free position goal from sophomore Tristan Kijak (Windsor, Conn.) cut the lead to 14-11 with nearly six minutes remaining, but Foote and the PSU defense held firm to secure the win.
Tingley finished with four goals and two assists, with Dubois adding four caused turnovers and three ground balls to her three goals. Daniels finished with two goals and two assists and Zuccaro added two goals, three caused turnovers, six draw controls and a game-high seven ground balls. Junior Emily Sauls (North Andover, Mass.) added five ground balls in the effort.
Foote finished with 12 saves and was solid down the stretch as Plymouth held off the late Warriors' charge. With the win she improves to 8-3 on the season.
Tingley continues to move up the PSU record books. She now leads the Panthers with 37 goals and 23 assists and her 257 career points (127 goals, 130 assists) are third most all-time. She needs just three more points to move into second on the PSU leaderboard.
Kijak posted a hat trick in the losing effort, as Pinto and sophomore Alyssa Powers (Ellington, Conn.) each chipped in with two goals. Junior Jessica Purick (Riverhead, N.Y.) made three saves to fall to 6-6.
PSU held slight advantages in ground balls (24-23) and draw controls (14-13). Plymouth outshot the Warriors 18-9 in the first half, but the hosts fired 21 second half shots to PSU's eight to hold a 30-26 edge for the game. Both teams were impressive in free position attempts, as Plymouth finished 7-of-12 and Eastern Connecticut went 7-of-11.
Plymouth will host Keene State College on Tuesday (Apr. 17) in a match-up of the two remaining undefeated teams in the LEC. Game time is set for 4:00 p.m.
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