WILLIMANTIC, Conn. - Freshman Scott Mishley (Trumbull, Conn.) scored the go-ahead goal 61 seconds before halftime and senior Kyle Bedini (Manchester, Con.) added a second-half insurance goal Saturday afternoon as the Eastern Connecticut State University men's soccer team opened defense of last year's Little East Conference title with a 3-1 victory over Plymouth State University at Thomas Nevers Field.
The win is the fourth straight this season for Eastern (5-1-0, 1-0-0 Little East), which has lost only two of its last 17 LEC regular-season matches (10-2-5). Coming off a 9-0 non-conference rout of Green Mountain College last Sunday, Plymouth fell to 2-4-0 overall and 0-1-0 in conference play.
All-region junior forward Maxim Fantl's (West Hartford, Conn.) team-leading fourth goal of the season less than two minutes into the match boasted the Warriors into a quick lead. After PSU senior Pat Connolly (Newton, N.H.) tied the match 14 minutes later, Mishley recorded his second goal (both game-winners) with a minute left in the first half on a cross from freshman Aaron Smiles (Bedford, Mass.). Bedini scored his first goal of the season on an indirect kick from just outside the box.
Connolly's game-tying goal in the 16th minute snapped Eastern freshman keeper Carl Appel's (West Windsor, N.J.) scoreless streak of 286 minutes and 27 seconds. It was the first goal allowed by Appel since a 2-0 loss to Trinity College here 12 days ago.
The wins gives the Warriors two straight wins over Plymouth for the first time since 1991-92, when Eastern posted 4-0 and 3-2 (overtime) victories.
PSU is back in action Wednesday with a non-conference match at Bates College (4:30 p.m.). Eastern hosts Husson College Sunday at noon.
(Courtesy of Eastern Conn. Sports Information)
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