(Courtesty of Keene State Athletics)
KEENE, N.H.--The Keene State College field hockey team scored three times in less than six minutes in the second half for a come-from-behind 4-2 win over Plymouth State University in the semifinals of the Little East Conference tournament at Owl Athletic Complex on Wednesday night.
- Keene State: 19-3
- Plymouth State: 11-6
- The top seeded Owls will host the LEC Championship game on Saturday afternoon against No. 6 seed Southern Maine. The Huskies upset No. 3 seed Westfield State in the semifinals and beat No. 7 seed Bridgewater State in the semis to reach the title game for the first time since 2007.
- Keene State is seeking their fourth straight tournament title, and 12th overall. The Owls and Huskies have met in the LEC championship twice before; USM stunned KSC with a 3-1 win in 2003, while the Owls took a 2-1 overtime win in 2007.
- The Panthers, who were looking to reach their first final since 2013, saw their season come to a close.
Tale of the Tape
- Junior Kendal Brown scored twice, while Sami Smith and Brittney Cardente each scored once. Cardente and Marita Brothers each had a pair of assists.
- Brothers also had a pair of defensive saves for the Owls, and Gwen Thayer made two saves in the KSC cage.
- The Owls outshot the Panthers 24-7, and PSU goalie Alivia Bates made 12 saves.
- Keene State had taken the regular season matchup 4-1.
First Half Highlights
- The Panthers struck first, as Lily Davis needed three tries, two of them cleared by Brothers on the line, before pushing the ball past Thayer for a 1-0 lead 4:26 into the contest.
- A minute later, the Owls responded with a perfectly executed corner. Cardente sent it in for Brothers' stickstop, and Brown hammered home a powerful shot from the top of the circle to tie the score.
- Before the Owls could take a breath, the Panthers were back in front. Jordan Ray's corner found Kate McPherson, whose shot from just inside the circle beat Thayer to the left side.
- Brothers' shot with two minutes left in the half was saved by Bates, as the Owls trailed 2-1 at the break.
Second Half Highlights
- Keene State came out of the gates blazing, as Julia Babbitt and Jensyn Dandeneau forced saves out of Bates in the first five minutes.
- Smith tied the game with her 33rd goal of the season, tipping in a pass from Mia Brickley, and the Owls took the lead for the first time as Smith's centering pass went right to Cardente, who fired in her seventh of the year just 90 seconds later.
- Plymouth State took an immediate timeout, but could not stop the offensive onslaught. Brown added her second of the game with a carbon copy of her first, using Cardente's corner and Brothers' stickstop to blast her sixth goal of the year past Bates.
- Babbitt and Smith tested Bates again, and Thayer made a kay stop on Maddie Burgess with less than 10 minutes to go as the Panthers searched for a goal to get within 4-3. Thayer had another stop on Kaitlyn Wilder in the 67th minute to preserve the win.