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Southern Maine blanks PSU Men’s Soccer

Panthers can't score despite out-shooting Huskies 

            PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Peter McHugh (Scarborough, Maine) scored a pair of second-half goals Saturday afternoon as the University of Southern Maine defeated Plymouth State University, 3-0, in Little East Conference men’s soccer action at Panther Field.

            The Panthers out-shot the Huskies by a 20-8 count, but USM made the most of its opportunities.  The visitors broke a scoreless tie in the first minute of the second half, added an insurance goal in the 60th minute, and put the match away with a third goal in the 70th minute.  The Huskies improve to 2-0-0 in Little East games, 2-6-0 overall, while PSU drops to 0-2-0 in conference play, 2-4-1 overall.

            Plymouth State controlled the majority of play during the first half but could not find the back of the net.  PSU had 13 shots compared to three for the Huskies, but USM senior keeper David Kreps (Agawam, Mass.) made seven of his nine saves in the first half to keep the match scoreless.

            The Huskies needed only 45 seconds at the start of the second half to break the deadlock.  The ball was sent into the box where McHugh knocked a header past Panther sophomore keeper Bjorn Ohlsson (Halmstad, Sweden).  USM extended its lead to 2-0 15 minutes later when senior Nick Johnson (South Portland, Maine) broke free on a breakaway and kicked the ball through Ohlsson’s legs for a two-goal advantage.

            Southern Maine put the game out of reach when Johnson fed McHugh with a nice crossing pass to the right side and McHugh scored his second of the game and third of the season into the far left corner of the goal.

            Kreps and the Husky defense, led by senior center back Chris Gassman (Kennebunk, Maine), did the rest, keeping PSU off the scoreboard for the team’s first shutout of the season.

            Plymouth State is home again on Wednesday with a non-conference match against Middlebury College (6:00 p.m.).  Southern Maine will host Colby College on the same day at Memorial Field in Portland (7:00 p.m.)

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