Panthers score nine-straight goals on way to win tenth title
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University scored nine consecutive goals in the first half to cruise past rival Keene State College, 19-5, in a Little East Conference (LEC) women's lacrosse game at Arold Field on Thursday afternoon.
The Panthers (12-3, 6-0 LEC) claimed their tenth regular season title, the most in LEC women's lacrosse history, and ran the tables for the ninth time since women's lacrosse was first sponsored by the league in 2002. PSU will be the top seed for next week's LEC Tournament, hosting a semifinal contest against a yet to be determined opponent on Thursday (May 3) at 4:00 p.m.
Keene State (7-8, 3-2 LEC) wraps up its regular season with a league game against the University of Southern Maine on Saturday (Apr. 28). The Owls can finish anywhere from second to fifth depending on the outcome of Saturday's games.
Senior Sam Sullivan (Canton, Mass.) put the home team up with the first of her four goals in the opening minute. After senior Tori Weinstock (Brookfield, Conn.) evened the game a minute later, Sullivan sparked the Panthers with three more goals in less than two minutes as PSU ripped off nine-in-a-row to take a 10-1 lead. Sophomore Sydney Dubois (Goffstown, N.H.) scored three times, with senior Megan Tingley (Natick, Mass.) and juniors Veronyca Daniels (Concord, N.H.) and Kimberly Zuccaro (Townsend, Mass.) also finding the back of the net during the stretch.
The Owls briefly stopped the PSU surge with goals from sophomore Tess Masci (Hopkinton, N.H.) and junior Emily Parker (Gilford, N.H.) just 44 seconds apart to cut the deficit to 10-3, but Dubois, junior Sarah Thompson (Hooksett, N.H.) and senior Sophia Guerriero (Essex, Mass.) all countered as the Panthers' lead ballooned to ten, 13-3, with just over four minutes in the opening half. The two teams traded goals in the final two minutes with junior Chelsea Lewis (Londonderry, N.H.) scoring for the visitors and sophomore Lissa Perry (Salem, N.H.) for the home team to make it a 14-4 game at the half.
Daniels and Zuccaro each added their second goals of the game in the first five-plus minutes of the second half. Weinstock had the Owls' final tally with 22:37 remaining, as PSU closed out the win with the final three goals; one each for Dubois, Guerriero and Tingley.
Dubois led all players with five goals and added an assist for a career-high six points, while also winning eight draw controls. Sullivan finished with four goals, while Zuccaro, Daniels, Tingley and Guerriero all had a pair. Tingley added six assists, while Zuccaro picked up a game-high ten ground balls. Senior Clarissa Foote (Weare, N.H.) made ten saves in goal to improve to 11-3 on the season.
Weinstock (two goals) and Parker (one goal, one assist) both had multi-point games for the Owls. Senior Taylor Farland (Fiskdale, Mass.) led KSC with five ground balls. Junior Anna O'Brien (Winchester, Mass.) made 13 saves but suffered the loss to fall to 7-6 on the year.
The Panthers owned a 43-21 advantage in shots, including a 30-10 margin in the first half, and won the ground ball battle, 40-26.
Plymouth State will await the winner of Tuesday's #4 vs. #5 first round matchup as the Panthers look to defend their LEC title and make a repeat appearance in the NCAA Tournament. PSU has appeared in the championship game in each of the last four years, winning the title in 2014 and 2017.
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