Southern Maine Stuns Top Seed Keene State in LEC Semis

KEENE, N.H. -- Junior Jessica Martineau (Yarmouth, Maine) scored three straight goals inside a five-goal run over the final 20 minutes of play as fifth-seeded University of Southern Maine stunned top-seeded Keene State College, 10-8, in a semifinal game of the Little East Conference Women's Lacrosse Championship Tournament at the Owl Athletic Complex.

The win was the second straight, and fourth in the last five games, for the Huskies, and avenged a 10-9 loss at the hands of the Owls five days ago. The Huskies carry a 10-9 record into the LEC title game at Eastern Connecticut State University on Saturday. It will be the Huskies second appearance in the championship game in the last three seasons. Eastern Connecticut, the third seed in the tournament, earned the right to host the championship game by defeating second-seeded Plymouth State University, 11-10, in overtime. Keene State concludes the season 12-5.

Trailing 8-5 early in the second half, the Huskies began their comeback when junior Mary Vaughan (Brunswick, Maine/Pomfret School) scored an unassisted goal with 19:44 to play. Martineau netted her first goal less than two minutes later off an assist from senior Alison Bradley (Auckland, New Zealand), and tied the game, converting an assist from Vaughan, with 14:08 to play.

Martineau gave the Huskies their first lead since 1-0, scoring an unassisted goal with 5:32 left on the clock. Senior Jessica Knight (Alfred, Maine/Massabesic) iced the victory with her third goal of the game, and the 200th of her stellar career, with three seconds to play.

In the opening half, Knight put USM on top, 1-0, scoring 1:31 into the game. The Owls responded with a string of four goals from four different players over the next 18 minutes to take a 4-1 advantage. Vaughan snapped the run of KSC goal converting a free-position shot, but junior Jill Kirk (Port Jefferson Station, N.Y./Comsewogue) restored the Owls' three-goal edge with her second goal of the half. USM rookie Lauren Santo (Salem, N.H.) and KSC junior Jamie Albert (Southington, Conn.) traded goals before the half ended leaving the Owls up 6-3 at halftime.

Vaughan, Knight and Martineau each finished the game with three goals apiece for the Huskies. Knight now has 68 goals on the campaign. She set a single-season record for goals scored (68) passing the old mark of 66 established by Jen Young in 2001. Santo had a goal and an assist. Freshman goalie Samantha Kiesel (Lakeville, Mass./Kents Hill) played a strong game registering 13 saves, 10 in the first half when the Owls piled up a 19-6 advantage in shots.

Freshman Nicole Curry (Hampstead, N.H./Pinkerton), Albert and Kirk each scored two goals for Keene State. Junior Meghan Ledoux (Standish, Maine/Bonny Eagle) and sophomore Alyssa Marinaccio (Narragansett, R.I.) split the goaltending chores for Keene State, each playing a half. Ledoux made two saves in the opening half while Marinaccio recorded five stops in the second half.


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