Nov. 6, 2008
PLYMOUTH, NH-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's field hockey team staged a second half rally, but fell short against host Plymouth State in a Little East Conference semi-final playoff match at Arold Field Thursday afternoon. The Panthers won, 4-3, to advance to the finals.
Senior forward Rebecca Stephens (North Andover, MA/North Andover HS) scored twice for UMass Dartmouth. She converted a pass from sophomore forward Stephanie Kinchla (Falmouth, MA/Falmouth HS/Quinnipiac) to tie the game, 1-1, at the 24:46 mark. Her second goal, at 46:20, cut the Panther advantage to 4-2 and ignited the Corsair comeback. Kinchla scored at 59:22, with sophomore defender Becca Festinger (Greenfield, MA/Greenfield HS) and junior midfielder Kylie Treat (Hampstead, NH/Pinkerton Academy) assisting on the play. But UMass Dartmouth could not get the tying goal.
Christina Parisi scored for PSU to make it 1-0 at the 19:33 mark, and Ashley Gutowski and Sarah Smith scored twice within 1:15 late in the first half to make it 3-1, Plymouth State, at the intermission. Kristina Conroy scored 6:30 into the second half to stake the Panthers to a three-goal advantage.
"It took us a while to adjust to the grass, and by the time we did, we were behind," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Nicole Castonguay. "Plymouth State is a very physical team, and they are very aggressive. I'm very proud of our team. We stayed poised, came back and almost caught up."
Stephens and the other Corsair seniors, midfielder Connie Jones (Springfield, MA/Somers-CT HS) and defender Alison Page (Mendon, MA/Nipmuc HS), completed their careers. "We had a great year, going from being ranked ninth in the pre-season to finishing third," said Castonguay. "Connie, Becca and Ali really helped build the foundation for the program, and where it's going. They did a tremendous job both as seniors and as leaders."
Plymouth State out shot UMass Dartmouth, 36-13. Corsair junior goalkeeper Seana Golden (Somerset, MA/Bishop Stang HS) made 19 saves, while Panther goalkeeper Elyse Sedgley made five.
UMass Dartmouth dropped to 16-6 with the defeat, while Plymouth State improved to 13-6 with the victory. The Panthers will play either Keene State or Southern Maine Saturday in the LEC championship match.