Panthers clinch first LEC playoff berth since 2008
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Jacob Sjoberg (Linkoping, Sweden) scored the game-winning goal on a header with less than three minutes remaining in the second overtime Saturday afternoon to lift the Plymouth State University men's soccer team to a 2-1 victory over the University of Massachusetts Boston in the Little East Conference regular season finale for both schools at Panther Field.
Freshman Petro Masumbuko (Manchester, N.H./Central) delivered a beautiful cross from the left sideline to Sjoberg in the middle of the box to set up the winning goal, and Sjoberg headed the ball into the back of the goal on the right-hand side. The victory clinched an LEC post-season berth for PSU for the first time since 2008.
UMB nearly won the game in regulation time, taking a 1-0 lead early in the second half on a goal by sophomore Lucas Ordosgoitia (Cartegena, Colombia), but PSU forced the overtime when freshman Ted Karlstrand (Halmstad, Sweden) netted the equalizer with just 3:46 remaining in regulation.
Plymouth State, 7-10 overall and 4-3 against Little East foes, will be the fourth seed in the upcoming LEC Tournament, and is tentatively slated to face top-seeded and regular season champion Eastern Connecticut State University in a semifinal match Wednesday in Willimantic, Conn. ECSU finished the regular season at 15-1-1 overall and 6-0-1 in conference play. UMB concludes its season at 5-10-2 overall and 1-6 in the LEC.
PSU and UMB played to a scoreless first half, with the home team owning a 10-4 advantage in shots. The Panthers had several good chances to score, but Eastern sophomore keeper Bryce Menard (Randolph, Mass.) made a point-blank-range save on Karlstrand at the 22-minute mark, and a blast from 30 yards out by freshman Alex Herbert (Lexington, Mass.) clanged off the crossbar. Junior Adam Groves (Brookesville, Maine) nearly scored on a close shot with 13 minutes to play, but Menard made a terrific diving stop to his right to keep the game scoreless.
UMB's best chance to score came in the final seconds but PSU senior keeper Bjorn Ohlsson (Halmstad, Sweden) made a diving save on a shot by sophomore Douglas Silviera (Revere, Mass.)
The Beacons took the lead 10 minutes into the second half when Silviera fed Ordosgoitia with a through ball along the right side, and Ordosgoitia chipped the ball over a charging goalkeeper for his fourth goal of the season.
PSU began pressing forward with time winding down, and it paid off in the closing minutes. Panther senior Aly El Tambouly (Cairo, Egypt) found an open Sjoberg just outside the box, and Sjoberg ripped a shot into the upper right corner to tie the score with just 3:46 on the clock.
The Panthers managed the only shot in the first extra session, and Sjoberg's game-winning goal was the only shot in the second overtime. PSU finished with a 19-10 advantage in shots for the game and an 8-2 margin in penalty kicks. Menard finished with five saves for UMB while Ohlsson made four saves for PSU.
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