Panthers secure at least a share of LEC regular-season title
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Seniors Sam Sullivan (Canton, Mass.) and Megan Tingley (Natick, Mass.) each scored five goals to lead Plymouth State University to a 19-13 win over the University of Southern Maine in a Little East Conference (LEC) women's lacrosse game on Senior Day at Arold Field on Tuesday afternoon.
The Panthers have won eight-straight games to improve to 11-3 (5-0) on the season. The win assures PSU of at least a share of the regular-season crown. Southern Maine (9-6, 2-3 LEC) had its two-game winning streak snapped.
For the sixth time this season the Panthers scored in the opening minute of a game. This time it was Sullivan who fired a low angle shot to the left of Huskies' goalie Hala Van nostrand (Granby, Maine) after Tingley picked up a ground ball in front of the cage just 38 seconds in.
USM scored the equalizer 13 seconds later when midfielder Ruth Nadeau (Bath, Maine) picked up the ensuing ground ball off the draw and sprinted in on Panther goalie Clarissa Foote (Weare, N.H.), firing a host from just outside the crease. Tingley would add her first goal of the game on a free position underhand shot 25 seconds later that snuck under the crossbar. Sullivan added her second of the game three minutes into the game as PSU went up 3-1.
|Plymouth State's eight seniors with their families|
The Huskies battled back to tie the game over the next four minutes on a free position goal from midfielder Colleen Flemings (South Portland, Maine) and the 28th goal of the year from freshman Alex Farley (Buxton, Maine). Plymouth State added goals from junior Kimberly Zuccaro (Townsend, Mass.), sophomore Sydney Dubois (Goffstown, N.H.) and senior Sophia Guerriero (Essex, Mass.) before the break to hold an 8-7 lead at the half.
Farley added her second of the game for USM 48 seconds into the second half, beating her defender to the front of the net to tie the game. Sullivan and Dubois answered back for Plymouth State to take a 10-8 lead and force the Huskies to use a timeout.
The Panthers extended the lead to 14-10 when Zuccaro picked up a loose ball outside the right of the crease in stride and fired a shot base Van nostrand. USM pulled to within three, 14-11, on the fourth goal of the game from junior Aliza Jordan (Gorham, Maine), but that was as close as the Huskies would get.
With her five goals and an assist, Sullivan moved into sole possession of tenth place on the Plymouth State all-time scoring list, with 178. Tingley's five goals and three assist now give her a point in 60-straight games.
PSU controlled the ground balls, 32-18, with Guerriero picking up a team-high seven for the Panthers. PSU outshot USM 44-20 for the game and 21-9 in the second half.
Foote made six saves to improve to 10-3, while Van nostrand made 14 stops for the Huskies, dropping to 5-6 on the year.
Back row (L-R): Brook, Tingley, McGilvray, Foote, Sullivan, O'Leary
Prior to the game Plymouth State recognize the eight Panther seniors; Tingley, Sullivan, Foote, Guerriero, Molly McGilvray (Hooksett, N.H.), Merissa Milano (North Reading, Mass.), Caity O'Leary (Gloucester, Mass.) and Haley Brook (South Sutton, N.H.). The group was recognized with their families at midfield.
Plymouth State wraps up the regular season at home on Thursday (Apr. 26) with an LEC match-up against in-state rival Keene State College. A win would give PSU the outright title and number one seed for next week's LEC Tournament. Game time is set for 4:00 p.m.
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