|University of Southern Maine||Westfield State University|
WESTFIELD, Mass. – Juniors Lindsay Jackson (Readfield, Maine/Maranacook) and Tayla Smedberg (Oxford, Maine/Oxford Hills) each scored goals as the sixth-seed University of Southern Maine Huskies took an 2-1 upset win over the third-seed Westfield State University Owls in the quarterfinal round of the 2016 Little East Conference field hockey tournament Saturday evening at Alumni Field.
Avenging a 1-0 loss to the Owls in Gorham on September 17 during the regular season, USM advances to the semifinals of the LEC tournament. Southern Maine is now 8-12 overall. Westfield State drops its third straight game to fall to 11-7 overall. Southern Maine will host the semifinal game on Wednesday (tba). Seventh-seed Bridgewater State upset second-seed Worcester State 3-1 in its quarterfinal match up setting up the No. 7 vs. No. 6 semifinal match up at Hannaford Field in Gorham.
The Huskies took a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute when Smedberg notched her team-leading ninth goal of the season. Freshman Abigail Staples (Alfred, Maine/Massabesic) passed the ball to Smedberg on the left side of the field and she carried into the circle putting the ball on frame to the far post. The Huskies took their 1-0 lead into the half despite a dangerous opportunity for the Owls in the 32nd minute. Westfield State was awarded a penalty stroke after a Southern Maine infraction in the circle. WSU’s Carly Zona (Auburn, Mass.) took the shot, but Husky senior goalkeeper Amanda Kasbohm (York, Maine) stopped her second penalty stroke of the season to keep the score at 1-0 in favor of Southern Maine.
Jackson doubled the Huskies’ advantage in the 48th minute rocketing in a shot after a feed from the top left of the circle from senior Michaela Demers (Manchester, N.H./Memorial). The goal is Jackson’s seventh of the season, and her second game-winner in 2016.
Westfield State broke up the shut out late in regulation when senior Holly Brouillette (Burlington, Mass.) sent a driven ball into the circle that was tipped in my senior Meg Doherty (Mansfield, Mass.) in the 65th minute. Westfield State pressured for an equalizer in the final minutes, earning a pair of penalty corners, but USM was able to hold off the charge.
USM held a 9-7 lead in shots on goal, while Westfield State had seven penalty corners to the Huskies’ four. Kasbohm finished the game making six saves. WSU senior Megan Fountaine (Scituate, Mass.) made five saves in the loss and was aided by two defensive saves from classmate Alexa Whitney (Athol, Mass.).