Plymouth State escapes with goal in final seconds to beat Western, 12-11

Box Score

DANBURY, CT (Apr. 21) — The Western Connecticut State University women’s lacrosse team pushed conference leader Plymouth State to the brink on Saturday at the Westside Athletic Complex, but with just five seconds remaining in the game, the visitors scored the winning goal to complete a come from behind 12-11 victory over Western on Senior Day.

Senior Brianna Mitterando (Mastic Beach, NY), junior Nicole Perrone (Brookfield, CT), and junior Emily Brooks (Kingston, NY) each scored three goals to lead the Western offense.  Sophomore Hyla Costello (Southington, CT) added one goal for the Colonials and junior Devon Edwards (Islip, NY), who had tallied 57 goals entering the afternoon’s competition, was held to a single goal and one assist.

For Plymouth State, junior Caitlin Swanson (Holderness, NH) and freshman Molly Gleason (Haverhill, MA) each scored three goals, followed by freshman Shannon Connerty (Nashua, NH) and Marie Lander (Ossipee, NH) with two goals each.  Sophomore McKenna Bay (Maracaibo, Venezuela) and freshman Rachel Fistori (Medford, MA) each scored once.

Western used the excitement of the pre-game Senior Day ceremony to jump out to a 3-0 lead with just over three minutes played in the first half.  After Brooks opened the scoring in the game’s second minute, Edwards, who had been punishing visiting defenses of late, scored her only goal of the game thirty seconds later for a 2-0 Western lead.  When Costello converted a free position opportunity just over one minute later, the Colonials appeared ready to upset the Panthers who entered the match on a 10-game winning streak.

Plymouth State finally got on the board at the 4:38 mark, and narrowed the game to a single goal two minutes later on an unassisted goal by Connerty.  With 10 minutes remaining in the half and Western still clinging to a one-goal lead, 4-3, Perrone converted a free position to extend the Western advantage, but a three-goal run by Plymouth State gave the Panthers their first lead of the day, 6-5, with seven minutes remaining in the half.  Perrone’s second goal of the contest with 4:31 remaining in the half evened the score, and the half ended deadlocked at 6-6.

Lander got things rolling early in the second for Plymouth State, but Perrone helped Western keep pace with a free position goal.  Connerty put the Panthers back on top with 27 minutes to play, but Mitterando answered one minute later to tie the score at 8-all.  Gleason’s free-position goal with 25 minutes remaining again put Plymouth State on top, and again Mitterando answered for Western to make the score 9-9.

When Brooks scored the game’s next two goals for Western, the Colonials seemed poised to spring the upset, leading by two goals with 10 minutes to play.  Swanson cut the margin in half for Plymouth State, and Gleason scored the equalizer as the Panthers increased the intensity in an attempt to keep their winning streak in tack.  With three minutes remaining in the game, Plymouth State called time-out, and then deployed a ball-control offensive scheme which allowed the Panthers to maintain possession of the ball and take the game’s final shot. 

The final play began as the clock ticked past 10 seconds, and with five seconds remaining, junior Amanda Richardson (Bradford, NH) fed a pass through the Western defenders to Bay who was breaking toward the goal on the right side of the arc.  Bay took Richardson’s pass and beat the Western keeper low to the near side, giving Plymouth State a thrilling one goal victory, 12-11.

Sophomore goalkeeper Karli Portnoy (Sea Cliff, NY) made 10 saves for the Colonials, but suffers the loss, while sophomore Lorin Field (Hollis, NH) had 11 saves for the victorious Panthers.

With the loss, Western stands at 10-5 on the season and falls to 2-2 in the Little East Conference.  Plymouth State, which hasn’t loss since a 17-15 overtime defeat at the hands of Springfield on the opening day of the season, raises its record to 11-1, and remains unbeaten at 4-0 in the LEC.  The Colonials return to action on Wednesday, April 25, when they host in-state and Little East Conference rival Eastern Connecticut.  Game time is slated for 4:00pm.

Lacrosse Game Summary (Final)
Plymouth State (11-1, 4-0 LEC) vs. Western Connecticut (10-5, 2-2 LEC)

SCORE BY PERIOD       1  2  Tot
Plymouth State......  6  6 - 12
Western Connecticut.  6  5 - 11

Plymouth State SCORING: GOALS: Caitlin Swanson 3; Molly Gleason 3; Shannon Connerty 2; Marie Lander 2; McKenna Bay 1; Rachel Fistori 1.  ASSISTS: Bay 1; Connerty 1; MacDonald 1; Richardson 1.

Western Connecticut SCORING: GOALS: Nicole Perrone 3; Brianna Mitterando 3; Emily Brooks 3; Devon Edwards 1; Hyla Costello 1. ASSISTS: Kaitlyn Arconti 1; Devon Edwards 1; Lindsay Gorman 1.

SHOTS - Plymouth State 23; Western Connecticut 30.
SHOTS ON GOAL - Plymouth State 22; Western Connecticut 22.

GOALIES - PSU: Lorin Field 11-1 (60:00 minutes, 22 shots-11 saves, 11 GA);
WCSUWL: Karli Portnoy 10-5 (60:00, 22-10, 12).