PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Rhode Island College scored two goals in the first 15 minutes Tuesday evening and never looked back, and the sixth-seeded Anchorwomen went on to upset third-seeded Plymouth State University, 3-1, in the first round of the Little East Conference women’s soccer tournament at Panther Field.
Three different players scored goals for RIC, who avenged last Saturday’s 1-0 loss to PSU in the final game of the regular season. The outcome sends the Anchorwomen (7-11-1) to Friday’s LEC semifinals (at top-seeded Keene State) against second-seeded Eastern Connecticut (1:30 p.m.). Plymouth State, which drops to 10-6-1, hopes for an ECAC play-off bid, which will be announced next Monday.
RIC and PSU have met in the first round of the LEC Tournament four straight years. The Panthers won in 2000 and 2001, but the Anchorwomen have won the last two.
Freshman Caitlin Gavin (Portsmouth, R.I.) got the visitors off to a good start Tuesday, lobbing a shot from 20 yards out over the head of PSU starting keeper Beth McAloon (Bedford, N.H.) to give RIC a 1-0 lead. Junior Lauren Tomasso (Cranston, R.I.) made it a 2-0 game at the 15:23 mark with a tough-angle shot from along the right end line.
The score remained 2-0 until the opening minutes of the second half, when RIC senior Jennifer Xynellis (Warwick, R.I.) fed a perfect though-ball to freshman Erika Haaland (North Dartmouth, Mass.), who finished off her team-leading ninth goal of the season.
Plymouth State got on the board with 10 minutes remaining as senior Katie Sheridan (West Sayville, N.Y.) rifled a shot from the left side into the net, with freshman Krista Pettrey (Northfield, Vt.) picking the assist with a nice feed.
PSU could do no further damage and RIC held on for the win. The Anchorwomen finished with a slim 10-9 advantage in shots. RIC junior Melissa Carpentier (Woonsocket, R.I.) made eight saves to post the victory, while McAloon and sophomore Hayley Quinones (Waitsfield, Vt.) combined for six stops.
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