LACONIA, N.H. – Senior Aliza Jordan (Gorham, Maine) and freshman Lindsey Keenan (Naples, Maine/Lake Region) combined for nine goals and two assists to lead the no. 2 University of Southern Maine Huskies to a 15-9 win over the no. 3 Western Connecticut State University Colonials in the second semifinal game of the 2019 Little East Conference Women's Lacrosse Championship tournament Saturday afternoon at Laconia High School's Fitzgerald Field.
With the win, Southern Maine advances to the championship game of the 2019 LEC tournament and will take on top-seed Plymouth State University Panthers at 1:00 pm on Sunday at PSU's Arold Field. The winner of the 2019 tournament will earn the conference's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III National Chanmpionship. Plymouth State advanced to the championship game defeating fourth-seed Keene State College Owls 15-5 in the first semifinal game. The Panthers have won the last to LEC titles (2017, 2018). Southern Maine last advanced to the LEC championship game in 2013. The Huskies have competed in the championship game three times (2008, 2010, and 2013) winning the program's lone LEC title in 2010.
Keenan scored three of her four goals in the game in the opening half helping the Huskies snag a 10-3 at the break. USM scored the first three goals of the game, on scores from Keenan, freshman Taylor Rinaldi (Freeport, Maine), and senior Colleen Fleming (South Portland, Maine), before WestConn broke through for its first goal of the game from Caroline Galligan on a feed from Lauren Bradshaw. However, after the Galligan tally, Southern Maine rushed the WestConn defense for six unanswered goals to assume a commanding 9-1 lead with just under 15 minutes to play in the half. Keenan scored the first to goals in the run and assisted on the fourth. Allison Irish also added a pair of goals in the run.
Trailing by eight, Western's Jasmine Coleman converted a free position shot, and Galligan added her second goal of the half to make it 9-3 in favor of the Huskies before Jordan nabbed her second goal of the first stanza for a 10-3 USM lead at the break. Huskies' senior Hala Van Norstrand (Grandby, Conn.) was outstanding in goal in the opening half, making six of her 11 saves to help USM create separation.
USM's Jordan opened the second half scoring with 30 seconds off of the clock, before WestConn strung together a three-goal run to trim its deficit to 11-6, including a pair of goals from Coleman, but Southern Maine bounced back with a three-goal run of its own to go up 14-6 with 11:40 remaining. Junior Megan Violette (Porltand, Maine/Deering), Jordan and Keenan were the Husky goal-scorers in the run, with Fleming assisting on Jordan and Keenan's tallies.
WestConn pushed again with a pair of goals from Brianna Pota and Lauren Bradshaw, but the Colonials never got closer than six goals the rest of the way, as Van Nostrand made five saves and the Huskies defense turned in a strong performance for the win. Van Nostrand finished with 11 saves. WestConn's Jennifer Sawicki made eight saves in the loss.
Jordan was outstanding overall with five goals, an assist, five ground balls, and four draw controls. Keenan added four goals and an assist, while Fleming had a goal, two assists, a ground ball and a team-high six draw controls.
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