DANBURY, CT - Senior forward Morgan Matthews (Bethel, CT) scored the game-winning goal, in the 50th minutes to lift the Western Connecticut State University field hockey team to a thrilling 3-2 victory over visiting Salem State University in the quarterfinals of the Little East Conference Championships at the Westside Athletic Complex on Tuesday afternoon.
Matthews, the program's all-time scorer, registered her team-leading 16th goal of the season after finishing off a 30-yard pass from classmate Carly Matasavage (Middlebury, CT), to break a 2-2 deadlock.
The Colonials, now 15-4, took an early lead when Nora Swift (Brookfield, CT) put away a rebound at the 12:27 mark. It was her fifth goal of the season.
The Vikings, now 10-8, evened the contest in the opening minutes of the second half when allison Couillard (Tewksbury, MA) converted a pass from Mikayla Mason (Beverly, MA) at the 37:13 mark.
WestConn, which earlier this season set a new program record for most victories, re-took the lead at 42:27 when junior Kimberly Brower (Mahopac, NY) finished off Matasavage's offensive corner. It was Brower's fifth tally of the year.
Less than five minutes elapsed when sophomore midfielder Marissa Laganas (Beverly, MA) blasted the game-tying goal from the top of the arch. It was her third goal of the season.
"Salem State transformed itself from the regular-season and made us use everything we had to come out with the victory," stated WestConn head coach Dani McDonnell.
The Colonials defeated the Vikings, 5-1, just 17 days ago in Salem, Massachusetts.
Junior Neve Manion (Newington, CT) earned the victory in the cage for WestConn. She made four saves after facing eight shots on Tuesday.
Kelli McCarthy (Foxborough, MA) suffered the loss for the Vikings. She too made four stops, but was withstood 15 total scoring attempts.
Laganas was credited with a defensive saves for Salem State.
Today's win was the second all-time for the Colonials in the Little East Conference tournament. They are now 2-6 overall in the league's post-season challenge.