NEW HAMPTON, N.H. - Plymouth State University scored twice in the first 10 minutes of the game and went on to hold off the Keene State College field hockey team 3-2 at Kennedy Field Thursday night for their first victory over the Owls since 2015.
- Keene State: 6-5, 4-1 LEC
- Plymouth State: 5-4, 3-2 LEC
How It Happened
Nina Bruno continued her torrid stretch, as she scored two more goals to help KSC trim a 3-0 deficit to 3-2, but it was not enough as the Owls fell to their in-state rival and to 4-1 in the Little East Conference. Bruno landed a game-high five shots on goal, while teammate Kayla Klein fired three on target, but Plymouth goalie Jess Distler made seven saves to ensure her team's early lead stood up.
PSU had a pair of penalty corner opportunities right away, and after not generating a shot off the first one, rebounded to score off the second one just 4:28 in when Jess Mezquita, who factored in on all three goals, found Kylie Ham. The Panthers continued to carry the play, as they earned another corner chance in the 10th minute that Ham took. After an initial shot by Kate McPherson was stopped by KSC keeper Rachel Loseby, Mezquita was there to pot the rebound for a 2-0 lead. The Owls got their first shot attempts in the final five minutes of the opening quarter, but Kelsey Roberts' went wide and Bruno's was stopped by Distler at the 14:38 mark.
Distler made two more saves on Bruno in quick succession just under five minutes into the second, and Plymouth eventually turned that into a third goal just 1:08 later when Mariah Luscher found the back of the cage. Trailing 3-0 and in need of a spark, Bruno continued to supply KSC's offense, eventually scoring in the 26th minute to make it 3-1. The tally came a little over a minute after Loseby made a diving stop on Mezquita to prevent a fourth goal. KSC had a pair of corners in the final 1:42 of the half, but could not get a shot and went into the break trailing by two. Plymouth had a 6-5 edge in shots.
Out of the locker room, the Owls quickly made it a one-goal game (3-2) when Ally McCall assisted on Bruno's second marker of the night and 12th on the season. That proved to be one of the few chances in a third quarter that saw just three shot attempts between the two teams, one of which was stopped by Loseby at the 41:52 mark to keep it a one-goal game. Keene State continued to push for the equalizer and dominated the fourth quarter, but Dister made four saves in the final 15 minutes to deny a three-goal comeback. Roberts (50th minute), Bruno (52nd minute), and Klein (53rd and 55th minutes) all had chances to give KSC new life, but could not get through as Plymouth held on despite being outshot 6-2 in the second half and allowing seven of nine corners.
Loseby (6-5) made three saves in the loss for KSC, while Distler stopped seven shots and improved to 3-1 for the Panthers.
- Bruno's four points move her into third on KSC's all-time points list (153), one ahead of Kay Mulcahy '85. Bruno also has eight goals and one assist (17 points) in the last four games.
- The Owls are now 29-13-1 in the all-time series. They had won their previous five meetings against PSU.
- Keene State returns home to host Western Connecticut State University (5-0 LEC) on Saturday, October 5 at 2:30 pm.
- Plymouth State visits UMass-Dartmouth on the same day at 3:00 pm.