MANSFIELD, Conn. – Freshman Sydney Collentine (New Fairfield) scored the third of three straight Eastern Connecticut State University goals to force overtime with 2:03 left in regulation, and first-year junior Morgan Sanson (Thomaston) capped the greatest comeback in the field hockey program's history with a goal five minutes into sudden death overtime to boost the Warriors to a 4-3 Little East Conference victory over Plymouth State University Saturday afternoon at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
Plymouth (2-6, 2-4 LEC) led 3-0 at halftime and carried that lead into the final 18 minutes before Eastern (3-5, 3-3 LEC) got two back in a span of seven minutes on goals from first-year sophomore Sydney Hogan (Northford) and junior Lindsey McKeon (Chester) and earned the equalizer with 2:03 left in regulation on Collentine's second goal of the season set up by senior defender Stephanie Hogan (Northford).
In the 7v7 overtime, Plymouth keeper Jess Distler kept it tied when she came out to break up a play by kicking the ball away before Sanson could gain possession in the circle on a prime scoring bid.
Each team managed shots in the next two minutes – Stephanie Hogan's attempt going wide and Mariah Luscher's try off a corner being stopped by Eastern first-year sophomore goalie Keira Integlia (Branford) for the only save of overtime.
Sanson's second game-winning goal of the season came with 4:55 gone in sudden death. The play began on Khiara Valentine's (Morristown, NJ) penalty corner – Eastern holding an 8-3 edge in that category (6-0 despite being shut out in the first half ). Erin Sheehan (North Branford) sent the ball into the middle of the circle from the top right to an unmarked Sanson, who took two steps and fired it low inside the left post for the game-ending goal.
Plymouth, which lost to Eastern for only the second time in the 23-game series, got its three goals from two of its four substitutes, both of them freshmen. Luscher was credited with the first two – the first coming upon her entrance into the match in the 21st minute, and her second coming ten minutes later that pushed the lead to 2-0. Both of her goals followed rebounds of shots by Kaihley Rafferty and Kaitlyne Silva, respectively, that were saved by Integlia. With 1:12 left in the first half, Shannon Ford provided the Panthers with a comfortable 3-0 lead at the break when she capitalized upon a deflection.
Eastern outshot Plymouth, 14-12, including 9-4 after the break. Integlia stopped seven shots, Distler five.
Eastern hosts Bridgewater State University in a Little East match Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.