PSU Men’s Soccer stays alive in LEC race

Garneau, Whipple lead Panthers past RIC

            PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Senior Alex Garneau (Twin Mountain, N.H.) scored what proved to be the game-winning goal in the 55th minute Saturday afternoon, and Plymouth State University held off a late surge to defeat Rhode Island College, 2-1, in Little East Conference men's soccer action.

            Freshman goalkeeper Sam Whipple (Kingston, N.H.) made four saves as the Panthers improved to 6-9 overall and 3-3 in the LEC, remaining in fourth place in the conference and on track for the final Little East post-season berth.  PSU also snaps a 12-game winless streak (10-0-2) to the Anchormen (4-10-1, 2-4 LEC) with their first win over RIC since earning a 3-0 shutout on Nov. 1, 2003.

            PSU struck first in the 17th minute as senior Parker Spear (Sodus Point, NY) took a corner kick and lofted the ball into the goalie box. While attempting to clear, the Anchormen knocked the ball into their own net for an own goal.

            The visitors took a 1-0 lead into halftime after carrying play for the first 45 minutes. The Panthers held a 14-6 advantage in shots and a 6-3 margin in corner kicks.

            Spear drove into RIC territory in the 55th minute, and dished the ball to Garneau when the defense collapsed on him. Garneau walked in from the near side and chipped the ball over the outstretched hands of RIC sophomore goalkeeper Christopher Duarte (Cumberland, RI) for his first of the season.

            Plymouth State looked to be in complete command until the 79th minute. As the Panthers dumped the ball into RIC territory, sophomore David Ricci (Smithfield, RI) tracked down the  ball about 30 yards from his net, whirled and blasted the ball down field. Sophomore Emmanuel Asiedu (Lincoln, RI) got behind the defense, collected the ball and scored his fifth of the season to pull the Anchormen within one.

            The final 20 minutes were filled with action as the Anchormen made a desperate attempt to tie the game. Freshman Camilo Estrada (Pawtucket, R.I.) thought he had the tying goal when his header cleared Whipple and was heading for the goal before senior defender Joakim Martinsson (Morlunda, Sweden) knocked it away for a team save with 9:19 remaining.

            RIC had one more attempt to tie the game in the waning moments as Asiedu drove down the left side and cut to the net along goal line. He chipped the ball past Whipple, who had cut him off, but Estrada was unable to collect the ball as time expired.

            The Panthers ended the game with a two-shot advantage, 19-17, and came out on top in corner kicks, 8-5. Whipple made four saves to earn the win (1-2), his first of the year, while Duarte made nine stops in a losing effort (4-10-1).

            PSU wraps up the regular season this week with a pair of home games, beginning Wednesday against Clark University.  Rhode Island College will host Worcester State on Monday.

(Courtesy of Rhode Island College Sports Information) 

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