KEENE, N.H. -- The top-seeded Keene State College women's lacrosse used a pair of five-goal runs to defeat fourth-seeded University of Southern Maine 13-9 in a semifinal round game of the 2014 Little East Conference Championship Tournament Friday at the Owl Athletic Complex.
The win moves the Owls into Sunday's championship game against in-state rival Plymouth State University. The Owls have won their last three games and are now 13-4 on the season. The Huskies had their three-game winning streak stopped and conclude the season 8-9.
Rookie Kelly Chadnick (Brewster, N.Y.) led the Owls attack scoring four times. Classmate Jenna Bellano (Brookfield, Conn.) had three markers, and seniors Julie Trombetta (Trumbull, Conn.) and Eliza Witherbee (Newburyport, Mass./Oldfields School) each contributed two goals and an assist. Senior goalie Erin Taylor (Brewster, N.Y.) stopped seven shots to pick up her 12th win of the season.
For USM, sophomore Sarah Pelligrinelli (Southington, Conn.) topped the score sheet with three goals. Senior Shelby Turcotte (Lewiston, Maine) had two goals, and senior Rosie Forster (Andover, Mass.) chipped in a goal and an assist. Senior goalie Kim Vogel (Sanford, Maine) had one save.
Sophomore Emilee Silegy (Keene, N.H.) for KSC and Turcotte traded goals in the opening five minutes before the Owls went on their first of two five-goal runs to open a 6-1 advantage. Chadnick opened the outburst with a free-position attempt at 22:56. Bellano had two scores in the run, the second making it 6-1 at 11:04.
Forster snapped the run of KSC goals 10 seconds after the Bellano goal. Witherbee and Bellano would bookend USM goals by Pelligrinelli and senior Jenna Cyr (Limerick, Maine/Massabesic) over the final seven minutes to make it 8-4 at halftime.
The Owls opened the second half with four consecutive goals to give them another five-goal run and increase their lead to 12-4. Chadnick and Witherbee scored in the opening two minutes. Trombetta scored at 23:14 and Chadnick netted her third of the game at 18:08.
The Huskies tried to climb back into the game with three straight goals over a seven-minute span. Junior Laura Fay (Falmouth, Maine), Pelligrinelli and senior Jacki Kelly (Brunswick, Maine) found the net to cut the deficit to 12-7.
Chadnick tallied her final goal of the day converting a free-position attempt with 6:00 to play. Turcotte and Pelligrinelli added goals in the final three minutes to account for the final tally.
Both teams had 23 shots in the game, and the Owls had slim 20-18 edge in ground balls. USM freshman Heather Everett (Waterboro, Maine/Massabesic) led all players with five ground balls. The Owls had a big 15-7 edge in draw controls led by Witherbee who had five.