Fiore, Daniels lead Panthers to win, top seed for tournament
KEENE, N.H. – Seniors Sam Fiore (Merrimac, Mass.) and Veronyca Daniels (Concord, N.H.) combined for 11 goals and three assists to lead Plymouth State University to a 15-11 win over Keene State College to secure at least a share of the Little East Conference (LEC) women's lacrosse regular season crown Tuesday night at Owl Athletic Complex.
The victory gives the Panthers a second straight regular season title and secures the top seed and home field advantage for the upcoming LEC tournament.
Daniels and Fiore combined to score six straight goals midway through the first half as PSU built an 8-1 lead through the game's first 20 minutes. Plymouth State still led, 10-3, at the intermission, and extended to a 14-4 advantage eight minutes into the second half before the hosts rallied. Keene closed the game with a 7-1 surge to cut the deficit to 15-11, but time ran out on the Owls as Plymouth held on for the win.
PSU runs its record to 8-5 and a perfect 6-0 in the LEC, while Keene falls to 6-7 and 3-3 in conference play.
The Final Score:
Plymouth State 15, Keene State 11
Plymouth State (8-5, 6-0 LEC)
Keene State (6-7, 3-3 LEC)
How it Happened:
* Plymouth State got off to a good start when senior Sarah Thompson (Hooksett, N.H.) scored on a free position shot just 27 seconds into the game.
* The Owls tied the game nine minutes later, but sophomore Elizabeth McLaughlin (Melvin Village, N.H.) quickly put the Panthers back in front with a free position goal.
* Daniels followed with three straight tallies and Fiore scored the next three as PSU pulled ahead 8-1.
* Senior Kimberly Zuccaro (Townsend, Mass.) added her 21st of the year with 9:35 left in the half and, after an Owls' goal, Daniels added her fourth of the game for a 10-2 advantage.
* Keene cut the deficit to 10-3 with a goal with 3:04 to play and the score would remain the same into the half.
* Fiore had three goals in a 4-1 spurt, with Daniels adding the other marker, as PSU pushed the lead to 14-4 eight minutes into the second half.
* Keene scored back-to-back goals, but Zuccaro answered for the Panthers to make it 15-6 with 15:15 remaining.
* The Owls closed the game with five straight goals, but ran out of time as PSU held on for the win.
Inside the Numbers:
* Plymouth State secures its 11th LEC regular season title and second in as many years. The Panthers will be the top seed for the LEC tournament, earning a first round bye and serving as the host for the final four.
* Fiore finished with a career-best six goals, while Daniels added five goals and three assists.
* McLaughlin finished with four points on a goal and three assists, with Zuccaro (two goals) and senior Laura Harrington (Northborough, Mass.) both posting multi-point games. Harrington had a pair of assists.
* Zuccaro added a team-best five caused turnovers and Allard improved to 8-5 after making four saves.
* PSU was a perfect 30-for-30 in clear attempts, held a 20-8 edge in draw controls and outshot the Owls by a 36-24 margin.
Straight From the Coach's Mouth:
"Tonight was a big conference win," said head coach Sandy Bridgeman. "Sydney [Dubois] was huge in the draws and Sam [Fiore] had a nice night."
* Both teams close out the regular season with conference games on Saturday (Apr. 27). Plymouth State looks to wrap up a second-straight unbeaten LEC slate at Castleton (1:00 p.m.), while the Owls jockey for postseason positioning at Eastern Connecticut at 12:00 p.m.
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