MANSFIELD, Conn. – The Eastern Connecticut State University women's lacrosse team outscored Plymouth State University by five goals over the final 45 minutes, but it wasn't enough to rally Eastern from an early nine-goal deficit as the Panthers recorded a 14-11 Little East Conference victory Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
In a re-match of last year's LEC playoff championship game, it wasn't much of a re-match over the first 13 minutes as defending champion Plymouth State (9-3, 3-0 LEC) struck for the game's first nine goals – potting three in a span of 1:27 during that run – before the Warriors made a modest run by scoring five of the final seven goals.
It proved to be too little, too late, however for Eastern (6-6, 1-1 LEC) as Plymouth broke a string of four straight matches decided by one goal in this series. The Panthers have eliminated the Warriors from the LEC playoff by 13-12 scores each of the past two years, with Eastern finishing unbeaten in the LEC with a 9-8 win at Plymouth State on the final day of last year's regular season.
Despite featuring two 30-goal scorers in Megan Tingley and Sam Sullivan that have dominated the Plymouth stat sheet this year, the Panthers spread out the scoring over the first 13 minutes Saturday, with seven different players contributing to the nine-goal barrage. The visitors connected on their first seven shots in the run and in the game, converted 14 of their 26 attempts at cage.
Tingley scored on four of her seven shots, Sydney Dubois on three of her four tries and Kimberly Zuccaro made good on both of her shots. Both of Veronyca Daniels's goal came during the 9-0 run. She also had two assists, as did Tingley.
Clarissa Foote turned back 12 shots for Plymouth, making seven when the Warriors scored seven in the second half.
Each team were on fire on free-position shots, Eastern going 7-of-11 and Plymouth 7-of-12.
Plymouth, which dominated on draw controls in the first half (11-5) that helped it to an 18-9 advantage in shots, got six draws and three caused turnovers from Zuccaro and five draws, and two caused turnovers from Sophia Guerriero.
Sophomore midfielder Tristan Kijak (Windsor) (3 goals), sophomore attack Alyssa Powers (Ellington) (2) and junior midfielder Michelina Pinto (Groton) (2) were Eastern's multiple scorers, with senior attack Katie Burke (South Windsor) dishing out two assists. Pinto (6) and senior midfielder Maggie Bodington (Stratford) (5) combined to win all but two of Eastern's 13 draws. Senior defender Katie Calnen (Granby) picked up four ground balls and caused two turnovers for Easten and senior defender Taylor Behn (Amherst, NH) had three ground balls and caused three turnovers.
Eastern hosts Western Connecticut State University in a conference match Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.