KEENE, N.H. - Sophomore Pelse Mesa (Manchester, N.H./Central) scored the only goal of the game late in the first half Saturday afternoon and it stood up as the game-winner as Keene State College held off rival Plymouth State University, 1-0, in Little East Conference men's soccer action before a large Homecoming crowd.
Ranked seventh nationally and first in the region, Keene State improves to 9-1 overall and 3-0 in the LEC. Plymouth State suffered its first loss of the season and dropped to 7-1-1 overall and 2-1 in conference play.
The only goal came with five minutes to play in the first half. Freshman Noah Hertzler (Hancock, N.H.) got the ball free and fed Mesa, who put the ball past several Panther defenders and into the net for his third goal of the season.
The Panthers had a chance to take an early lead when sophomore Takeru Tanikawa (Shizuoka, Japan) broke in alone, but his shot clanged off the cross bar. KSC's best opportunity came later in the half when Conor Kelly (Braintree, Mass.) hit the far post off a direct kick.
In the second half, KSC goalie Cal Mintz (Westport, Conn.) preserved the Owls' lead when he stopped a close in shot from Dustin Moya (Thornton, Co.). Mintz finished with six saves to notch his fourth shutout of the season, while freshman Tyler Shute (Deerfield, N.H.) stopped seven Owl shots.
PSU tries to get back on the winning track at home Wednesday against Colby-Sawyer (7:00 p.m.), while Keene State hosts Babson on Wednesday (6:30 p.m.)
(Courtesy of Keene State Sports Information)
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