WORCESTER, Mass. – Rachel Hopkins scored with 2:30 left in the first overtime period to lead the first-seed Worcester State Lancers to a 3-2 win over the University of Southern Maine Huskies in the second semifinal game of the 2019 Little East Conference Field Hockey Championship tournament.
With their fourth consecutive win, Worcester State improves to 17-4 overall and advances to the LEC Championship game for the first time since 2001. Southern Maine sees its five-game win streak stopped and concludes its season at 13-9. Facing each other for the 23rd time, Worcester State has won both meetings this season, while USM leads the series record 12-11-0.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Worcester State controlled the pace of play and led 2-0 late into the fourth quarter. The Lancers got a pair of second quarter goals to take control of the game. Hopkins started the scoring for WSU in the 18th minute, notching her 26th goal of the season off of an assist from Olivia Antonelli and Coley Hayes. The Lancers doubled their advantage in the final moments of the half when Sophia Monopoli scored her 12th of the season from Hayes.
WSU outshot the Huskies 14-1 in the first half, and maintained a 2-0 lead after three quarters holding a 17-2 advantage in shots. The Huskies were able to stay within striking distance, however, thanks in part to the steady play of sophomore goalkeeper Lindsay Pych (West Milford, N.J./Morristown-Beard).
Down to the final five minutes of regulation, the Huskies were able to get on the board in the 56th minute when junior forward Hayden Spencer (Sabattus, Maine/Oak Hill) completed an assist from seniors Dorina Sirois (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) and Maggie Redman (Alfred, Maine/Massabesic). Still down a goal, USM notched the equalizer in the 57th minute as Sirois scored her 11th of the season on an assist from sophomore Samantha Ellis (New Vineyard, Maine/Mt. Blue) forcing the overtime action.
In overtime, the Huskies outshot WSU 4-1, but was unable to find the back of the net before Hopkins scored her 27th of the season.
Pych was outstanding in net making 12 saves for the Huskies. Worcester State's Jess Hopkins made one save in the win, facing three shots on goal.