PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State College men's soccer program will make its fifth consecutive post-season appearance and eighth in the last nine years as the top seed in this week's ECAC Division III New England Tournament.
The Panthers will host eighth-seeded Wentworth Institute of Technology this Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. at Panther Field in a first round match-up. Plymouth State will play at home as long as the team continues winning in the eight-team field.
Wednesday's other first round games include #7 Western New England at #2 Westfield State, #6 Babson at #3 UMass Dartmouth, and #5 Gordon at #4 Springfield. The semi-finals are Saturday (Nov. 10) at the site of the two highest remaining seeds, with the higher seed among Saturday's winners hosting the title game Sunday.
Plymouth State earned the top seed after finishing in second place in both the Little East Conference regular season and tournament. The Panthers, 11-6-0 overall, went 6-1-0 in conference play during the season and lost in the LEC title game on Sunday at Keene State.
Wentworth comes into the tourney after setting a school record with 14 victories and a 14-3-1 overall record. The Leopards were defeated in the semi-finals of the Commonwealth Coast Conference Tournament last Thursday by Gordon. This is Wentworth's first ECAC tournament berth.
PSC will be making seventh appearance in the ECAC Tournament. The Panthers played previously in 1973, 1981, 1985, 1993, 1994 and 1999, winning the championship in '81 and '85. PSC has also participated in 16 NCAA Tournaments, including '97, '98 and 2000.
Plymouth State features a strong defensive squad, one that allowed only 23 goals in 17 games. Anchoring the defense is senior stopper Antoine Moiboueyi (Gabon, Africa) and senior sweeper Magnus Eriksson (Arjang, Sweden), along with sophomore Mike Hallworth (Sandown, N.H.) and freshman Nick Libera (Cromwell, Conn.). Senior keeper Scott Laine (Spencer, Mass.) has been the mainstay between the pipes for PSC, posting a 1.17 goals against average with five shutouts.
The Panthers have a balanced offense. Moiboueyi leads the team with seven goals and junior Justin Wengell (Newington, Conn.) and sophomore Michael Cantelli (Raymond, N.H.) have contributed six goals apiece. Senior midfielder Garry Thomson (Glasgow, Scotland) leads the team with nine assists, sharing the points lead (15) with Moiboueyoi and Wengell.