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PSU stuns top-seeded USM in LEC Men’s Soccer Semifinal

            GORHAM, Maine - Senior Semir Mehmedovic (Concord, N.H./Franklin H.S.) scored two goals and added an assist Wednesday afternoon as fourth-seeded Plymouth State University stunned top-seeded University of Southern Maine, 3-0, in a semifinal round match of the 2008 Little East Conference Men's Soccer Tournament.

            The win was the third straight for the Panthers, and extends their unbeaten string to five matches (4-0-1). The Panthers, who beat fifth-seeded Western Connecticut State University, 6-0, in a first round match Monday, advance to the championship match on Saturday at second-seeded Rhode Island College.  The Anchormen secured their berth in the title match Wednesday with a 2-1 victory over third-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University.

            The Huskies, who won the LEC regular season title for the first time in the league's history, finish the campaign 12-8-1.

            Mehmedovic gave the Panthers the only goal they would need in the 48th minute running down a diagonal pass over the top from senior Gareth Stephens (Yeovil, England) and cutting a shot back past USM junior goalkeeper David Kreps (Agawam, Mass.).

            Mehmedovic, who had a hat trick in Monday's match, got his second goal of this match in the 82nd minute converting an assist from senior George Delano (Kingston, N.H.).

            With the Huskies pushing everyone forward, Mehmedovic was stopped twice by Kreps, but the second rebound went to Delano who lofted a shot into the far side of the net in the 88th minute.

            The first 45 minutes went by scoreless, but each side had good scoring opportunities. Mehmedovic made a great individual run through the USM defense before cutting a shot back just wide of the post. USM senior Greg Cox (Brookline, Mass./Hebron Academy) found the framework twice, hitting the left post with a header and later the crossbar with a bouncing, 45-yard shot over PSU senior goalkeeper Tyler Shute (Deerfield, N.H.) that hit the underside of the bar and came back out.

            Shute finished the match registering seven saves to post his third shutout of the season. Kreps was credited with five stops. Southern Maine had a 13-11 edge in shots and a 5-2 margin in corner kicks.

            PSU will be making its fifth LEC championship game appearance and first since losing to Keene State in 2006.  The Panthers claimed their only LEC tournament title in 2000 and also had berths in the final in 1999 and 2001. 

(Courtesy of Southern Maine Sports Information) 

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