Daniels named Most Outstanding Player after four-goal effort
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Veronyca Daniels (Concord, N.H.) scored four goals and sophomore Meaghan Allard (Amherst, N.H.) made ten saves to lead top-seeded Plymouth State University to a 12-7 win over the University of Southern Maine in the championship game of the Little East Conference (LEC) women's lacrosse tournament at Arold Field on Sunday afternoon.
Daniels scored twice in just over five minutes as the Panthers jumped out to an early lead and never trailed. She was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player after notching seven goals and an assist across PSU's two tournament games.
Plymouth State captures its third straight Little East Championship and secures the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. PSU will learn its fate when the tournament selection show airs at 9:30 p.m. tonight on NCAA.com.
Playing on its home field for the only time this season, Plymouth State held the Huskies off the scoreboard over the first 30 minutes. Daniels scored three times and the Panthers took a 5-0 lead into the half.
USM was aggressive out of the break, building momentum after cutting the deficit to 5-2 with a pair goals less than 30 seconds apart. PSU responded with a three-goal spurt and the hosts maintained a five-goal advantage until a USM tally made it 10-6 with 5:31 to play. PSU answered just over a minute later and the teams traded goals in the final two minutes to account for the final score.
Plymouth State improves to 11-5 on the year, while USM ends its season with a 10-6 mark.
The Final Score:
Plymouth State 12, Southern Maine 7
Plymouth State (11-5)
Southern Maine (10-6)
How it Happened:
* Daniels opened the game with a flurry, scoring twice in the opening 5:19 as the Panthers took an early lead.
* Allard came up big with a save off a Southern Maine free position shot and senior Sarah Thompson (Hooksett, N.H.) capitalized on her free position attempt a minute later as PSU went up 3-0.
* Daniels picked up her third of the game on a free position shot with 17:54 left in the first half.
* Senior Laura Harrington (Northborough, Mass.) caused a turnover on a Huskies' clear attempt and broke in alone, but USM goalie Hala Van Nostrand (Granby, Conn.) made a brilliant save.
* The Panthers pushed the lead to 5-0 as sophomore Elizabeth McLaughlin (Melvin Village, N.H.) scored a free position goal with just 12 seconds remaining in the half.
* Southern Maine built momentum early in the second half as junior Megan Violette (Portland, Maine) and freshman Taylor Rinaldi (Freeport, Maine) scored goals just 29 seconds apart.
* PSU answered with three straight tallies in two-and-a-half minutes. Junior Sydney Dubois (Goffstown, N.H.) got the streak started, while senior Sam Fiore (Merrimac, Mass.) and freshman Devon Mello (Laconia, N.H.) also scored.
* The teams traded goals over the next ten minutes, with sophomore Alex Farley (Buxton, Maine) and senior Colleen Fleming (South Portland, Maine) scoring for USM and Daniels and senior Kimberly Zuccaro (Townsend, Mass.) finding the back of the cage for the Panthers.
* Rinaldi picked up her second of the game after sneaking a low shot under Allard's stick with 8:51 to play, and senior Aliza Jordan (Gorham, Maine) added a goal three minutes later as the Huskies cut the deficit to 10-6.
* Thompson answered for PSU to restore the five-goal lead and the teams each added a goal in the final two minutes to account for the final score.
Inside the Numbers:
* With its three-peat, PSU captures its record eighth LEC championship. The Panthers have appeared in each of the last six title games, winning four of them.
* Daniels finished with four goals and an assist, while Thompson (two goals, one assist), Fiore (two goals) and Mello (one goal, one assist) also had multi-point games for the Panthers.
* Dubois led PSU with four draw controls and three caused turnovers, while Allard posted a team-high three ground balls.
* Rinaldi scored twice for the Huskies, while Fleming, Jordan and Keenan all recorded a goal and an assist.
* Rinaldi and Jordan led USM with three draw controls, with Jordan also posting a game-high six ground balls.
* Allard made ten saves to improve to 8-4, while Van Nostrand made nine stops but fell to 8-5.
* The Panthers held a 33-20 edge in shots, while USM won the ground ball battle by an 18-17 margin.
* PSU will host the winner of second seeded University of Southern Maine and third seeded Western Connecticut State University in the LEC title game Sunday (May 5) at 1:00 p.m. at Arold Field.
|Veronyca Daniels - Tournament Most Outstanding Player|
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