NEW HAMPTON, N.H. - The Keene State College field hockey team scored twice in a six-minute span in the second half to erase a two-goal deficit and eventually defeated Plymouth State University 3-2 in a penalty shootout on Saturday at the New Hampton School.
- Keene State: 12-3, 8-1 LEC
- Plymouth State: 4-8, 4-5 LEC
How It Happened
The Panthers, who have now alternated wins and losses over their last five games, took the lead less than four minutes into the contest. After KSC goalie Rachel Loseby stopped Patty Newhard's shot following a corner, Jess Mezquita was there and found the back of the cage for a 1-0 lead just 3:35 in. The Owls looked to answer, generating several chances in the ensuing minutes, but a shot from Kayla Klein was wide and Nina Bruno was denied by Plymouth keeper Jessica Distler. Bruno was again stopped by Distler in the 15th minute, and Klein's shot met the same fate in the 28th minute as it remained a 1-0 game. The Panthers doubled their lead with no time remaining in the first half, as Mezquita scored her second of the game following a corner opportunity. Plymouth led 2-0 at the break despite going nearly 27 minutes without a shot attempt.
Keene State had four chances to get on the board over the first nine minutes of the second half, but Distler made a pair of saves and two corners went for naught. However, it was not much longer after that before KSC cashed in, as they scored twice in about six minutes to tie the game. First, Julia Babbitt found Klein in the 46th minute to draw the Owls within 2-1, and later Erica Stauffer cashed in with the equalizer at 52:00. The tying goal came just minutes after Loseby made a pair of stops on Shannon Ford and Mezquita in the 49th minute. Both teams had a chance to escape late in regulation, but Loseby denied Newhard and Wakefield on quick-fire chances in the 63rd minute. Distler did the same on Bruno less than two minutes later, and an Owls penalty corner in the final minute fizzled, as it remained 2-2 after 70 minutes.
In extra time, Babbitt's bid for a second overtime winner was foiled by Distler, and a last second PSU corner in the first OT resulted in Newhard's shot being blocked. KSC controlled the second OT session, but a pair of shots by Klein went wide and one in the 88th minute was kept out.
With 90 minutes not being enough, the teams went to a five-round penalty shootout. Newhard gave the Panthers the upper hand by scoring on the first shot, but Ally McCall evened the shootout at one after two rounds. Neither team scored over the next two, and after Kylie Ham missed, Mia Brickley, playing about 20 minutes away from her hometown, got one past Distler to give KSC the comeback win.
Loseby (12-3) earned the win for the Owls, making seven stops. PSU's Distler made nine saves but fell to 4-8.
- KSC's win keeps them one game behind Castleton University for the top spot in the conference. The Spartans held off Worcester State University 3-2 today in Vermont.
- Keene State outshot Plymouth 20-11 and had a 12-7 advantage in penalty corners.
- The penalty shootout was Keene State's first since the rule was introduced in 2014.
- KSC has won four straight against Plymouth and leads the all-time series 29-12-1.
- Keene State returns home to host Fitchburg State University in conference action on Wednesday, October 17 at 6:30 pm. It is the first of a back-to-back, as the Owls go to No. 16 Williams College the next day.
- Plymouth will visit the University of Southern Maine on the same day for a 4:00 pm start.