GORHAM, Maine - Junior midfielder Greg Cox (Brookline, Mass.) scored his second goal of the match 2:39 into overtime Saturday afternoon to give the University of Southern Maine Huskies a thrilling 3-2 victory over the Plymouth State University Panthers Saturday afternoon in a Little East Conference men's soccer match at the USM Soccer Field.
The win lifts the Huskies to 6-3-1 overall, and keeps them unbeaten in LEC play at 3-0-0. It was the Huskies first win over the Panthers since 2003, and just their 10th in the series (10-48-2). The Panthers had their two-match winning streak stopped to fall to 3-3-1 overall and 1-2-0 in the conference.
Cox netted the game-winning goal with a 12-yard shot into the right side of the net following a restart from the right side. Sophomore Peter McHugh (Portland, Maine) sent a pass towards the top of the penalty area where freshman Mark Okeny (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) dummied the ball through to an unmarked Cox. Cox settled the ball and beat PSU junior goalkeeper Tyler Shute (Deerfield, N.H.) with a shot across the goal into the right side netting.
The Panthers forced the issue in the extra session with less than five minutes to play in regulation. Sophomore Eric Owens (Newton, N.H.) got his head to a cross from junior Adam Gove (Kingston, N.H.) to beat USM sophomore keeper David Kreps (Agawam, Mass.).
Southern Maine scored the only goal of the opening half despite being outshot 9-2. Cox made a great individual effort around the PSU defense and put a 12-yard shot under a charging Shute.
Plymouth State got the tying goal in the 62nd minute as senior Takeru Tanikawa (Shizuoka, Japan) buried a 15-yard shot into the left side. Freshman Tommy Schrey (Munich, Germany) made a nifty run along the end line, beating two USM defenders before laying the ball out in front to Tanikawa.
Senior Eddie Weddington (Augusta, Maine/Cony) regained the lead for USM in the 81st minute, angling a shot from 15 yards out into the right side of the net after slipping around Shute.
Plymouth State dominated the statistics sheet, outshooting Southern Maine 22-5, and piled up a 6-1 advantage in corner kicks. Kreps finished the match with five saves while Shute finished with one save.
The Huskies return to action on Tuesday (3:30 p.m.) when they host Bates College for a non-conference match. The Panthers will host Tufts University on Wednesday (6:00 p.m.).
(Courtesy of Southern Maine Sports Information)
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