KEENE, N.H. - Senior Mike Vitone (East Greenwich, R.I.) and freshman Shawn Shand (Keene, N.H.) each netted unassisted goals in the second half Saturday afternoon to lead Keene State College to a 2-0 victory over rival Plymouth State University in Little East Conference men's soccer action at Owl Athletic Complex.
Keene State, which had lost its last two regular season games to the Panthers, improves to 3-3 overall, 1-0 in the LEC, while Plymouth State (4-1, 0-1 LEC) drops its first game of the season.
Playing their first conference games of the season, KSC and PSU each had chances to get on the board in a quick-moving first half. Keene State sophomore Joe Bohenek (Rockland, Mass.) had a drive that just went wide of the net following a corner. Later in the half, Shand cut in and took a shot that was just wide of the mark, and PSU freshman goalie Bjorn Ohlsson (Halmstad, Sweden) went air borne to stop a shot ticketed for the top corner by freshman Bobby Saraf (Canton, Mass.).
Senior Semir Mehmedovic (Zvornik, Bosnia) had the best chance for the Panthers with a mid-range shot that just went wide of the net.
Keene State lost its top goalie Peter Kersker (Ipswich, Mass.) and Plymouth State lost the services of its top scorer Mehmedovic when both players were issued red cards following an altercation in front of the Owls net minutes into the second half.
Shand had another chance to give the Owls a lead at the 37:52 mark of the half, but Ohlsson tipped his shot over the cross bar.
Making his second start of the season, Vitone gave the Owls a 1-0 lead at the 52:48 mark when he floated a well-placed shot over the head Ohlsson after the ball came out to him following a corner play.
Shand scored a key insurance goal with eight minutes to play when he beat a Plymouth defender and drove the ball into the corner of the net for his third goal of the season.
Kersker made one save for KSC before giving way to junior Tom Conran (South Windsor, Conn.) who tallied two more saves. Ohlsson made three saves for the Panthers.
Keene State outshot Plymouth 15-7. The Panthers had a slim 4-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Both teams have non-conference games on Wednesday. Keene State hosts Worcester State and Plymouth State plays its home opener against Bates College (4:30 p.m.)
(Courtesy of Keene State Sports Information)
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