Panthers capture ECAC Championship
PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Senior tri-captain Garry Thomson (Glasgow, Scotland) was named MVP Sunday as he led the Plymouth State College men's soccer team to a 3-0 victory over Westfield State College in the ECAC Division III New England championship game at Panther Field.
The victory gives the Panthers their third ECAC Division III title, having also won the crown in 1981 and 1985.
The Panthers struck first in the 13th minute when Panther sophomore Micheal Cantelli (Raymond, N.H.) headed a free kick from junior Troy Silva (West Tisbury, Mass.) past Westfield State senior keeper DJ Conway (Springfield, Mass.).
With less than three minutes remaining in the first half, the Owls received a red card to go down a man for the remainder of the match. PSC capitalized on the man-advantage in the 60th minute when Thomson's free kick into the box was headed by Panther sophomore Nick Libera (Cromwell, Conn.) beyond the reach of Conway to make the score 2-0.
The Owls tried to recover but PSC put the game away when senior Antoine Moiboueyi (Gabon, Africa) scored off of his own rebound for an insurance goal in the 81st minute.
The Panther defense continued its stellar play, holding the Owls to just five shots against the Panthers 15. Conway was credited with five stops, while Panther senior tri-captain Scott Laine (Spencer, Mass.) was rarely challenged in goal and finished with one save for his seventh shutout of the season and 12th of his career.
"Playing our last game at home was unbelievable," said Thomson, "and being able to win it was even better. It's a great way to go out."
The Panthers, which has made the post-season five straight years and eight of the last nine, end the season with a 14-6-0 record under second-year head coach Keith Byrnes. Westfield State finishes at 11-7-2.