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Joyce Endee

Bobcat girls' lacrosse secures second seed

May 30, 2011
PLYMOUTH — Lacrosse is only in its third year as a varsity sport at Plymouth Regional High School, but the Bobcat girls are proving they've got the skill and experience to match the more seasoned programs in Division III.

Plymouth (12-2) wrapped up a strong regular season with three wins in three days, including a critical victory over Kingswood in the season finale to wrap up the second seed in this week's state tournament.

The Bobcats opened the week with a 19-5 win over Windham on Tuesday. Ani Swanson led the offensive barrage with five goals, while Kenady Kelly added four goals and an assist and Nika Mosenthal and Rachel Schwaner each netted a hat trick. Ann Furbush and Leah McAuliffe also chipped in with two goals apiece, while Liz Gailey made nine saves in goal.

Plymouth traveled to Pelham the following day, powering their way to a 20-11 win over the Pythons. Schwaner netted a double hat trick of six goals, while Furbush added five and Mosenthal (two assists), Kelly and Swanson each scored three. Kayla Sullivan would add an assist in the offensive effort, while Gailey turned aside five shots on goal.

That led to Thursday key matchup against Kingswood, as both teams entered at 11-2 with the second seed in the Division III tournament on the line. The Knights took a 6-2 lead early, but the Bobcats battled back to make it 8-7 at halftime, then evened things up in the second half before pulling away for the 13-10 victory.

"The girls had to reach deep," said coach Tom Cowie. "We were on a mission."

Kelly scored four goals and Mosenthal added a hat trick, while Swanson (one assist) and Furbush each had two goals and Schwaner and Brittany Silva added one apiece. Gailey stopped 11 shots as the defense snuffed out Kingswood's early surge and allowed the Bobcats to rally back for the win.

The junior varsity squad also finished off its 2011 campaign with strong efforts. The Bobcats lost to Pelham on Wednesday, 6-3, with Paige Lafrano, Angelina Stewart and Amanda Proia each netting a goal, while Amber Nault turned in a valiant performance in the net with 11 saves. Stewart, Kassie Cote and Maria Mayne would also net a goal apiece in a 10-3 loss to Kingswood on Thursday, with Nault stopping nine shots in goal.

This mark Plymouth's second trip to the postseason, but the prospects were strong entering this year's tournament, as the Bobcats enter second-ranked and tested against the division's top teams, neither of their two losses, both by one goal, counting them out against any potential opponent. Cowie and coach Maureen Wentzell have been ecstatic at the quick progress of the program and look forward to a solid opportunity in this year's tournament. "For a third-year varsity team, we're loaded with talented seniors, so this year's a nice year to make a move," said Cowie. "To come out of a regular season 12-2, I'm really proud of the team."

Plymouth was set to open the tournament in Plymouth at 5 p.m. Wednesday against the seventh seed, to be announced as of press time, with the winner advancing to the semifinals on Saturday at Southern New Hampshire University. For brackets and additional info, visit nhiaa.org.

Martin Lord & Osman
Salmon Press
Varney Smith
Garnett HIll
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