WILLIMANTIC, Conn. – Junior Alex Marin (Manchester, N.H./Memorial) re-directed a shot past Eastern Connecticut State University keeper Jay Barney (Mansfield, Conn.) 12 minutes into the second half Saturday afternoon to lift the Plymouth State University men’s soccer team to a 1-0 Little East Conference victory over Eastern Connecticut State University at Thomas Nevers Field.
Having entered the match one minute earlier, sophomore Semir Mehmedovic (Franklin, N.H.) blasted a shot from the center of the box that Marin got a foot on and re-directed inside the right post, away from the dive of Barney. Sophomore Adam Gove (Kingston, N.H.) also collected an assist on the play.
It was the sixth straight match between the teams decided by one goal, Plymouth State having won five of them, including the last four. The previous four matches had extended into overtime. The Panthers improve to 5-1-1 overall and 2-0-0 in the LEC, while ECSU slips to 2-4-2 overall and 0-1-1 in conference play.
Eastern controlled the tempo throughout the first half, but couldn’t get one of its eight shots past PSU sophomore keeper Tyler Shute (Deerfield, N.H.) as it had a three-game unbeaten streak (2-0-1) ended. The Warriors finished with a 19-10 advantage in shots and held an 8-1 margin in corner kicks.
All five of Plymouth State’s shots in the first half were on goal, but all were directed straight at Barney, who made five of his seven saves in the first half. PSU made a bid to break a scoreless tie with just over a minute left in the first half when leading scorer Keith Whittemore (Holderness, N.H.), a junior midfielder, ripped a long free kick under the crossbar that Barney just managed to punch out. Five minutes into the second half, Whittemore received a deflected shot in the box, forcing Barney to sprawl to his right to cover the shot.
Both Shute and Barney finished with seven saves.
Eastern hosts Elms College Wednesday at 4:30 p.m. Plymouth State travels to Worcester State for a non-conference affair on Wednesday at 7:00 p.m.
(Courtesy of Eastern Conn. Sports Information)
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