MANSFIELD, Conn. -- An anticipated showdown between last year's Little East Conference regular-season women's lacrosse champion Plymouth State University and playoff titlist Eastern Connecticut State University proved to be a mismatch from the outset as the Panthers rolled to their 14th straight conference regular-season triumph, 21-5, Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
At right: Senior Finley Ahearn (Photo by Mitch Power)
Juniors Amy MacDonald and Molly Gleason combined for nine goals as Plymouth (7-2, 2-0 Little East) rolled up a 2-to-1 advantage in shots, putting half of its attempts into the net. Gleason won 13 of her team's 21 draws and won four ground balls, senior goalie Lorin Field (Hollis, NH) – the two-time LEC Defensive Player-of-the-Year -- made ten saves over the first 44 minutes to carry Plymouth to its seventh straight win after an 0-2 start.
The loss was the fourth straight for Eastern (2-10, 1-3 Little East), which could manage only one goal through the first 21 minutes. The Warriors trailed by only five at halftime, but Plymouth found the back of the net on 13 of its 18 second-half shots. Five of Plymouth's goals came in man-up situations as the visitors capitalized when Eastern was assessed eight yellow cards.
MacDonald led five Plymouth multiple-goal scorers with five, Gleason adding four and junior Shannon Connerty two goals and three assists. Eastern senior Finley Ahearn (Wallingford) led Eastern with four ground balls and senior Erin Conn (Moriches, NY) won two draws and caused two turnovers. Freshman goalie Taylor Emmerson (Colchester) made 11 saves, eight coming on Plymouth's 23 first-half shots that allowed Eastern to remain within striking distance at the break.
Eastern visits Massachusetts Dartmouth Tuesday in a p.m. conference match.