Women’s Soccer falls to NEC in season opener

Bodge, Todd score for Panthers in setback

            NEW LONDON, N.H. – The Plymouth State University and New England College women's soccer team battled evenly for the first 70 minutes Friday afternoon in the season opener at the Colby-Sawyer College Labor Day Tournament, but the Pilgrims exploded for four goals in less than nine minutes late in the second half and went on to a 5-2 victory over the Panthers at CSC's Kelsey Field.

            The teams traded first half goals that led to a 1-1 halftime score. It was still that way in the 70 minute when the Pilgrims erupted for four unanswered markers.  PSU stopped the rally with a goal with just under 10 minutes remaining but the Panthers couldn't recover.

            Freshman Latisha Bodge (Rochester, N.H./Spaulding) put the Panthers on the scoreboard at the 21:29 mark, shooting the ball into the lower left corner off a cross from sophomore Emily Bell (Derry, N.H./Pinkerton Academy).  NEC answered with three minutes left in the first half as Tara Comerford scored on a header in traffic, assisted by Caroline Mols.

            The Pilgrims pulled ahead with less than 20 minutes remaining on the second half when Alexandra Korchman found the upper right corner from 25 yards out.  Molly Puchtler put the game out of reach with the next two goals for NEC, putting the ball in the upper right corner from the left side of the box at the 71:55 mark, assisted by Korchner, and then scoring on a breakaway at 74:36 off a through pass from Haley Calabro.

            Kaylee Thrasher scored the final goal in the NEC rally, an unassisted marker into the right corner from 30 yards out with just under 11 minutes remaining in the game. Junior Molly Todd (Epsom, N.H./Bishop Brady) got one back for PSU less than two minutes later, chipping the ball over the keeper's head, but that ended up as all the scoring.

            PSU had a 6-5 edge in shots in the first half, but NEC came back with a 15-5 margin in the second half.  Senior Chelsea Duval (Dover, N.H./Dover) made five saves in her first game in goal for the Panthers, while Tricia Sardagnola made four saves for NEC.

            Colby-Sawyer defeated Rivier College, 1-0, in Friday's first game of the tournament.  Sunday's slate of games will include Rivier vs. New England College at 12 noon and PSU vs. Colby-Sawyer at 2:30 p.m. 

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