PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Liz Boddy (Brentwood, N.H.) and junior Nicole Evans (Scituate, Mass.) recorded five points apiece Friday afternoon as top-seeded Plymouth State University defeated fourth-seeded Keene State College, 16-5, in the first semifinal of the Little East Conference Women’s Lacrosse Tournament at PSU’s Arold Field.
The three-time defending champion Panthers, 10-4 overall, advance to Saturday’s championship game, where they will meet second-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University at 12 noon at Arold Field. The Warriors, 11-6, earned a ticket to the title contest with an 18-5 triumph over fourth-seeded Western Connecticut State University in Friday’s second semifinal.
PSU scored the first 12 goals of the game before Keene State got on the board late in the first half, and the Owls never challenged the hosts in the second half. KSC falls to 8-8 overall and awaits a possible ECAC New England Tournament berth, which will be announced Monday.
A key player for PSU was senior goalie Kristin Elliott (Exeter, N.H.), who stopped nine of 10 shots in the first half and finished with 11 saves.
Boddy finished with four goals and one assist, while Evans had a team-high four assists to go with one goal. Sophomore Kelsey MacDonald (Oak Bluffs, Mass.) also contributed three goals for PSU while collecting a team-high seven draw controls. Juniors Bethany Brown (Norwich, Conn.) and Caitlyn Irving (Avon, Conn.) and sophomores Meg Cupoli (Southboro, Mass.) and Annie Pinault (Framingham, Mass.) chipped in to the Panther offense with two goals each.
Senior Michelle Mason (Fairport, N.Y.) led the Owls with two goals, while juniors Kristal Lundegaard (Babylon, N.Y.), Alexandra Manzin (Avon, Conn.) and Melony Waters (Prospect, Conn.) added one goal each. Junior Mandy Gray (Sharon, Mass.) made eight saves in the KSC cage.
Saturday’s championship game is a rematch of two previous LEC title games. PSU defeated Eastern Conn., 12-8 in overtime, to win the first LEC title in 2002, and 20-8 in the 2003 championship contest.
PSU came back from a 12-4 deficit to defeat ECSU in last year’s semifinals, 15-12. The Panthers also rallied from a three-goal second-half deficit at Eastern on Apr. 9th of this season to pull out an 11-10 victory.
The winner of the LEC Tournament receives an automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament.
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