MEDFORD, Mass. – The Plymouth State University women's lacrosse team had its most successful season in 15 years come to an end as No. 4 Tufts University topped the Panthers, 18-0, in the second round of the NCAA Division III Women's Lacrosse Championship at Bello Field on Sunday afternoon.
Plymouth State has its eight-game winning streak come to an end to close the season with a 12-6 mark. The Panthers' first round win was the first since the 2004 season, while the second round appearance matched the program-best finish in the championship tournament. Five of PSU's six loses came at the hands of nationally-ranked opponents.
After five scoreless minutes to open the game, Tufts scored twice in a 74-second span and wouldn't look back. The Jumbos built an 11-0 lead at the half and held the Panthers' offense off the scoreboard through the second half to earn the win.
Tufts advances to the NCAA Regional championships next weekend with a shot to reach the national semifinals.
How it Happened:
The game remained scoreless through the first 5:07 before Tufts broke through on an unassisted goal by freshman Colette Smith (Moorestown, N.J.). Smith made it 2-0 just over a minute later on a free position goal and the Jumbos capitalized on a player-up situation with another free position tally after ten minutes of play. The Jumbos pushed the lead to 5-0 by the midpoint of the half, then added six goals in the final 15 minutes to take an 11-0 lead into the half. Tufts closed out the game with seven second-half tallies to advance to the regional round for the second time.
Inside the Numbers:
- Junior Sydney Dubois (Goffstown, N.H.) grabbed a game-high four draw controls and tied for the team lead with three ground balls.
- Senior Emily Sauls (North Andover, Mass.) and sophomore Elizabeth McLaughlin (Melvin Village, N.H.) also corralled three ground balls.
- Seniors Kimberly Zuccaro (Townsend, Mass.) and Veronyca Daniels (Concord, N.H.) added three draw controls apiece, while Zuccaro was also credited with three caused turnovers.
- Sophomore Meaghan Allard (Amherst, N.H.) made seven stops in the first half, while senior Emilee Wargo (Madison, Conn.) made seven second-half saves. Allard took the loss to drop to 9-5.
- Daniels closes the season as the Panthers' top scorer, finishing with 49 goals and 67 points. Both marks fall just shy of the top-ten in program history. Her 122 career points ranks 24th all-time.
- Dubois, senior Sam Fiore (Merrimac, Mass.) and Zuccaro all finished with 30+ goals (33, 31, 30).
- Zuccaro closes out a fantastic all-around career. She is tied for 27th with 108 career points, third in career ground balls (206), sixth in draw controls (182) and third in caused turnovers (116). Her 44 caused turnovers this spring are the fifth-most in a season.
- Dubois led the team with 69 draw controls, ninth-most in a season, and her 128 over the last two years are the eighth most in a career with another full season to go.
- The loss marks the final game for PSU seniors Zuccaro, Daniels, Fiore, Sauls, Wargo, Julia Rankin (Haverhill, Mass.), Laura Harrington (Northborough, Mass.) and Sarah Thompson(Hooksett, N.H.).
Straight From the Coach's Mouth: "Tufts was a tough opponent," said head coach Sandy Bridgeman. "I'm proud of our effort, but we just weren't able to match up with their speed and execution. Overall this was a great season with excellent leadership from our senior class."