CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - Sophomore Ryan Sheffler (Beaumont, Tex.) broke a scoreless tie with his team-leading ninth goal of the season Wednesday afternoon, and top-seeded Massachusetts Institute of Technology went on to defeat eighth-seeded Plymouth State University, 1-0, in the first round of the 2004 ECAC Division III New England Men's Soccer Tournament.
The Engineers (13-3-1) move on to the semifinal round, and will host fourth-seeded Coast Guard Saturday at 1:00 p.m., as the Bears eliminated fifth-seeded Southern Maine, 2-0. Plymouth State concludes its season at 9-8-1.
PSU played one of its strongest games of the season, giving the New England Women's and Men's Athletic Conference regular season champions all they could handle. The Panthers had the advantage in the first half in shots (5-2) and corner kicks (4-1) but couldn't put one on the board.
MIT came back in the second half and the two teams played evenly after the break, each recording five shots and four corner kicks. The Engineers ended the scoreless drought in the 69th minute when Sheffler connected on a pass from Jose-Ramon Torradas (Chadds Ford, Pa.), who registered his school-record 33rd career assist.
The visitors had a chance to tie the game with 11:52 remaining on a shot by sophomore scoring leader Felix Rosen (Stockholm, Sweden), but MIT senior goalie Morgan Mills (Indianapolis, Ind.) made a diving save. Mills finished with seven saves to record his school-record-tying sixth shutout of the season, while PSU senior keeper Jayson Smith (Northwood, N.H.) made one save.
MIT was making its second ECAC appearance, while PSU was competing in the ECAC Tournament for the 10th time.
(Courtesy of MIT Sports Information)
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