Kabasakalian, Mezquita each score for Panthers
GORHAM, Maine – Senior Maddie Kabasakalian (Kent, Conn.) and sophomore Jess Mezquita (Atkinson, N.H.) each scored second half goals as Plymouth State University held off Johnson & Wales University, 2-1, in the season opener at the USM Invitational at Hannaford Field on Friday night.
Kabasakalian gave PSU a 1-0 advantage early in the third quarter and Mezquita doubled the lead five minutes into the fourth. The Wildcats cut into the deficit midway through the quarter, but the Panthers' defense held strong to claim the victory.
Plymouth State moves to 1-0 on the year and opens its season with a victory for the first time since 2015, while Johnson & Wales drops to 0-1.
Plymouth State 2, Johnson & Wales 1
Plymouth State (1-0)
Johnson & Wales (0-1)
How it Happened:
- PSU owned a 6-2 advantage in shots but neither team was able to break through in the first half.
- Plymouth State broke the scoreless tie just over three minutes into the second half. Senior Kylie Ham (Wayland, Mass.) carried the ball up the field before feeding Kabasakalian, who beat the JWU goalkeeper.
- Mezquita made it 2-0 with a nifty turnaround shot inside the circle five minutes into the fourth quarter.
- Freshman Hailey Schneider (Freehold, N.J.) spoiled PSU's shutout bid midway through the quarter when she fired a hard shot from the left side through everyone to make it 2-1.
- JWU had a scoring chance two minutes later, but junior Jess Distler (Brookfield, N.H.) made the save and the Panthers' defense kept the Wildcats off the board the rest of the way.
Inside the Numbers:
- The Panthers held an 11-8 advantage in shots.
- Plymouth State's defense limited the Wildcats to just three shots on goal, with Distler making two saves – both in the final 15 minutes.
- Kabasakalian's goal was the tenth of her career and first since Nov. 2017, while Mezquita tallied the fifth of her career.
Straight from the Coach's Mouth:
"We played hard enough to win," said head coach Bonnie Lord. "Tonight was a typical first game against a solid team that challenged us, but our defense was solid. The effort was there and now the first game jitters are over. We will face a tough Manhattanville team tomorrow and we'll see how we respond to that, but it feels good to get the first one."
- Plymouth State squares off with Manhattanville on day two of the USM Invitational tomorrow (Aug. 31) at 1:00 p.m.
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