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Worcester State nips PSU Women’s Soccer

Late goal lifts Lancers; Nixon scores Panthers' goal

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Laura Maunsell (Medford, Mass.) scored on a penalty kick with two minutes left in regulation play Wednesday evening to lift Worcester State University to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Plymouth State University in non-conference women's soccer action at Panther Field.

            Maunsell's goal capped a Lancer comeback that started when freshman Kendal Bergenholtz (Grafton, Mass.) scored her first career goal in the 71st minute to tie the score at 1-1.  The outcome gave the Lancers their third straight victory and improved their record to 4-3 overall.

            Junior Kate Nixon (Wakefield, Mass.) had given the Panthers a 1-0 lead midway through the first half with her second goal of the season. PSU outshot the visitors 10-7 in the second half but couldn't score a second goal, and the loss leaves the team record at 1-5.

            Senior Molly Todd (Epsom, N.H.) help set up the Plymouth State goal as she slipped behind the Lancer defense in the 20th minute, but sophomore keeper Jillian Witkowski (Leicester, Mass.) came out to break up the shot.  The ball squirted to the right side, where Nixon blasted the ball into the net for a 1-0 lead for the home team.

            The Lancers nearly tied the game with nine minutes left in the first half when a shot by senior Kelsey Cartwright (Bridgewater, Mass.) got past the goalie, but PSU sophomore defender Leah Swanson (Atkinson, N.H.) made a save on the goal line to keep the Lancers off the scoreboard.

            Worcester State broke through midway through the second half when Cartwright sent Bergenholtz in on a breakaway with a beautiful lead pass, and Bergenholtz beat the keeper to the bottom right to even the score at 1-1.  PSU nearly regained the lead with 12 minutes to play when junior Emily Bell (Derry, N.H.) played a nice crossing pass but Todd was broken up trying to finish the play.

            Junior Cassie Giardina (Pittsfield, Mass.) was looking for some insurance scoring for WSU with 6:50 remaining but her header bounced off the cross bar, and PSU freshman keeper Annaliese Schmidt (Newmarket, N.H.) made a diving save on a shot by Giardina less than a minute later.

            PSU had one last good scoring chance but Witkowski made the save on a long shot by senior Julie Behan (Laconia, N.H.) Witkowski made with 11 saves to earn the win in the Lancer net, while Schmidt finished with six stops at the other end.

            Plymouth State continues its four-game home stand on Saturday, hosting the University of Southern Maine in a Little East Conference match-up (1:00 p.m.)  Worcester State returns home to host Framingham State Saturday in a MASCAC contest (10:00 a.m.) 

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