Panthers claw back from two-goal deficit
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Sarah Hicks (Sutton, Mass.) scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season as Plymouth State University battled back from an early 2-0 deficit to earn a 2-2 draw with New England College in a non-conference women's soccer game at Arold Field on Wednesday afternoon.
NEC sophomore Bridgette Winters (Hillsboro, N.H.) scored a pair of goals to give the Pilgrims a 2-0 first half lead, but Hicks cut the deficit in half with her sixth goal of the season in the 25th minute. Senior Sabrina Sweeney (Raymond, N.H.) headed in a cross from junior Caitlin Catania (Billerica, Mass.) early in the second half and the teams remained deadlocked at two through both overtime periods.
Plymouth State moves to 5-3-2, while NEC goes to 6-6-2.
Plymouth State 2, New England College 2 (2 OT)
Plymouth State 5-3-2
New England College 6-6-2
How it Happened:
* PSU had an early chance in the third minute when a turnover in the box led to a shot by freshman Sarah Hicks (Sutton, Mass.), but it sailed over the crossbar.
* NEC got a lucky break in the fourth minute. A cross through the box took a strange bounce and skipped off PSU freshman goalkeeper Elena Register (Helena, Ala.), and Winters deposited it into the open net.
* Winters tallied her second of the game in the 14th minute. A through ball led to a breakaway opportunity and Winters broke down the middle. The PSU defense recovered to break up the initial shot, but Winters used fancy footwork to cut back and her turnaround shot was perfectly placed to the top right corner.
* Hicks cut the lead in half in the 25th minute. She lofted a shot from the right side of the box over the head of freshman goalkeeper Emily Sashko (Mayfield, Pa.) to the far post.
* The Panthers tied the game early in the second half. Catania took a pass from Hicks near the box on the left side, then carried the ball to the goal line before sending a cross to the far post, where Sweeney headed it in.
* The teams exchanged prime scoring opportunities in the 59th minute. First, Sweeney played a ball into the box from the right side for the Panthers, but senior Kate Martin (Westmoreland, N.H.) had her header saved by Sashko. On the NEC counterattack, senior Emily LePage (West Greenwich, R.I.) got past the PSU defense, but sophomore Jenna Parsons (Windham, N.H.) made the save.
* Plymouth State had two chances in the 76th minute. Sophomore Jordan Meier (Holderness, N.H.) cut through a pair of defenders inside the six, but Sashko stopped her shot. The rebound deflected up in the air, but the header from sophomore Mallory Lloyd (Hartland, Vt.) went just wide.
* Lloyd had another chance in the 80th minute, but the blast off her left foot deflected off the post.
* Meier made a nice run in the 89th minute, carrying the ball along the left sideline then cutting into the box. She fired a shot to the near post from eight yards out, but Sashko was able to make the save.
* NEC had the best scoring chance in the first overtime. Senior Michaela Pomeroy (Thetford, Vt.) fired a turnaround shot from just inside the box, but Parsons made kept the score even, making an impressive save.
* Lloyd finished a run down the left side early in the second half, then sent across to junior Keegan Burch (Nashua, N.H.) at the top of the box, but her shot sailed just over the crossbar.
* Hicks had one last chance in the 104th minute. She streaked down the right side and fired a bending shot to the far post, but Sashko made a diving stop.
Inside the Numbers:
* Sashko single-handedly kept NEC in the game, matching a career-high with 11 saves.
* Register made two stops in the first half for the Panthers and Parsons relieved for the remaining 65 minutes, making four saves.
* After NEC came out strong to start the game, PSU controlled the majority of the second half. The Panthers outshot New England College by a 14-4 margin during the second half, and 27-14 for the game.
* Both teams finished with six corner kicks.
* With her sixth goal of the year, Hicks moves into a tie with Lloyd for the team lead. Sweeney's four goals are the third highest total for PSU.
* Winters notched her third two-goal game of the year and her six goals are the second-highest for the Pilgrims.
* Plymouth State has posted a 6-1-2 record against the Pilgrims, with NEC's lone win coming in 2012.
* The Panthers earned shutout wins over NEC each of the last three years.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"Every person that went out there and played today put forth the effort we were looking for," said head coach Ryan Joy. "To be able to come back from two goals down early, you can't ask for more than that. They played very well."
* Plymouth State welcomes in-state rival Keene State to Arold Field on Saturday (Oct. 6) for a key Little East Conference match. Kickoff is set for 1:00 p.m.
* NEC hosts Southern Vermont on Saturday (Oct. 6) in a New England Collegiate Conference (NECC) contest at noon.
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