PLYMOUTH, N.H. – In a game played in thick, dense fog, second-seeded Plymouth State University advanced past seventh-seeded Salve Regina University Wednesday night in the first round of the ECAC Division III New England men’s soccer tournament at Panther Field.
The two teams battled to a scoreless tie through two regulation periods and two sudden-victory overtimes. The contest went to penalty kicks, and PSU prevailed, 3-1. Plymouth State is now 12-3-3 on the season, while Salve completes its season at 13-8-2.
The Panthers will host third-seeded Keene State College in the semifinals Saturday at 1:00 p.m. at Panther Field. The Owls dumped sixth-seeded WPI on Wednesday, 6-1.
Senior Brad Wilby (Haddonfield, N.J.) was the star of the penalty kick session for Plymouth State. The Panther keeper scored PSU’s first goal in the round of PK’s, and he stopped three of Salve’s four attempts to clinch the victory for the home team. Senior Michael Cantelli (Raymond, N.H.) and junior Sebastian Rodriguez (San Jose, Costa Rica) also scored goals for the Panthers in the round of PKs.
Both teams had several opportunities to win the game during regular play. PSU senior Sal Friello (West Haven, Conn.) hit the goalpost late in regulation then glanced one off the crossbar in the second overtime. A Salve shot with four minutes remaining in the second OT was cleared off the goal line by a Panther defender.
PSU finished with an 8-2 advantage in shots. Wilby made two saves to post his 10th shutout of the season, and SRU freshman keeper Davin Sirpenski (Voluntown, Conn.) finished with seven saves for his seventh whitewash.
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