Panthers fall to New England's #8 team
SOMERVILLE, Mass. – Sophomore Gus Santos (Framingham, Mass.) scored two first-half goals Tuesday afternoon as the Tufts University men's soccer team, ranked eighth in New England in the first weekly poll, rolled to a 3-0 win over visiting Plymouth State University at Kraft Field.
Tufts forwards put pressure on keeper Bjorn Ohlsson (Halmstad, Sweden) and the rest of the Plymouth State defense early and never let up, outshooting the opposition 20-5.
The Panthers did their best to hold back the onslaught of through passes and lob shots from the advancing Jumbos, but midway through the opening half, Tufts finally broke through. With 27:02 left in the first, Santos took a beauty of a lead pass from sophomore midfielder Kyle Volpe (Blackstone, Mass.) and was off to the races. Santos slid the ball low and away from Ohlsson to put the home team up 1-0.
The mounting advances from the Jumbos boiled over when Santos was fouled in the penalty box with 7:21 left to play before halftime. He made the penalty kick look easy, letting go a smooth finish to the lower-left corner for his second tally of the match.
On the other side of the ball, Tufts played stifling defense in the first half, and the Panther forwards seemed to not find any rhythm. Tufts junior keeper Wyatt Zeller (Sea Ranch Lakes, Fla.) stopped the only shot on target.
It appeared Plymouth State shook off the bus legs during halftime, and had some early looks at Zeller and the Jumbos' cage early in the second frame. Senior Parker Spear (Sodus Point, N.Y.) put two shots on goal for PSU. Unfortunately for the Panthers, Tufts made some defensive adjustments and their attack stalled.
Sophomore Maxime Hoppenot (Princeton, N.J.) stole the momentum back just 10 minutes into the second. Defender Sam Williams (Thetford Center, Vt.) joined his classmates on the scorecard with a solid lob to Hoppenot in the box, who poked home the ball just as Ohlsson made his charge.
The jumbos cruised from there with Santos finishing with five shots (two on goal), while Hoppenot scored on his only strike. Zeller finished with three saves and a second consecutive shutout. Ohlsson played 73 minutes-plus and finished with four saves.
Plymouth State, 2-3-0, opens Little East Conference play Saturday at Panther Field against the University of Massachusett Dartmouth (1:00 p.m.) while Tufts, 2-0-0, and travels to Wesleyan on Saturday.
(Courtesy of Tufts Sports Information)
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