PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Third-seeded Plymouth State University overcame the opponent and a driving rainstorm Wednesday evening at Panther Field, defeating Albertus Magnus College, 4-0, in the first round of the ECAC Division III New England Men's Soccer Tournament.
The Panthers, 12-3-4 overall, move into the semifinal round and will play this Saturday at second-seeded Rhode Island College (11:00 a.m.) The Anchormen also advanced Wednesday with a 4-0 victory over seventh-seeded Castleton State. The tournament championship game is slated for this Sunday, Nov. 13 at the site of the highest remaining seed. Albertus Magnus ends its season at 9-8-3.
Seniors Brad Wyman (Durham, N.H.) and Steve Balgach (Fairfield, Conn.) connected on PSU's first goal, with Balgach setting Wyman up for his fifth goal of the season in the 29th minute. Sophomore Jamal Luttamaguzi (Stockholm, Sweden) made it 2-0 six minutes later when his shot deflected off a Falcon defender and into the goal.
The Panthers, who outshot the visitors 19-1, added a pair of insurance goals in the final 10 minutes of the second half. Junior Steve Martus (Wilton, N.H.) connected on his first goal of the season from freshman Semir Mehemdovic (Franklin, N.H.) at the 80.50 mark, and sophomore Takeru Tanikawa (Shizuoka, Japan) added his fourth of the season a minute later.
PSU freshman Tyler Shute (Deerfield, N.H.) needed to make just one save to record his sixth shutout of the season. Freshman Chris Vasquez (Nashua, N.H.) made five saves for the Falcons.
Saturday's semifinal game will be the third meeting this season between Plymouth State and RIC, and the first two both went to double overtime. RIC won in two OTs, 2-1, on Oct. 22 in Plymouth, and the two teams tied 1-1 last Friday in the Little East Conference Tournament semifinal in Providence (before RIC advanced on penalty kicks). The Anchormen were 0-21-2 all-time against PSU until last season, but have gone 3-0-1 against the Panthers in the last four meetings. Saturday's game will be broadcast on the internet, and can be reached through the RIC website at http://www.ric.edu/athletics/index.html.
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