Panther stars include Spear, Martinsson, Groves, Masumbuko
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Four members of the Plymouth State University men's soccer team were recognized by the Little East Conference Tuesday for their performances over the course of the 2012 season.
Senior Parker Spear (Sodus Point, N.Y.) highlighted the list of honorees for PSU as he was named to the All-Little East First Team, while three other Panthers earned Second Team honors – senior Joakim Martinsson (Morlunda, Sweden), junior Adam Groves (Brooksville, Maine), and freshmen Petro Masumbuko (Manchester, N.H./Central). Spear is a repeat selection, having earned Second Team honors last year, while the others are first-time choices. The LEC post-season awards are selected by a vote of the Little East head coaches.
A 5'5" center midfielder, Spear anchored the Panthers with strong all-around play and leadership at both ends of the field. He led the team in scoring with five goals and three assists, taking a team-high 37 shots, while also creating numerous scoring opportunities. A four-year starter, Spear finished his career with nine goals and 15 assists in 62 games.
Martinsson and Groves, 6'2" and 6'3" defenders, respectively, gave PSU a solid 1-2 punch along the back line. They helped PSU record three shutouts this fall and allowed just one goal in seven other games. Groves was an LEC Defensive Player of the Week after scoring the game-winning goal against the University of Southern Maine, while Martinsson wrapped up a career that including him starting on defense in 63 of his 64 appearances.
A 5'8" forward, Masumbuko burst on to the scene this fall as a speedy rookie forward for the Panthers. He finished with four goals and three assists; while his speed helped his teammates create additional scoring opportunities. He was the LEC Rookie of the Week the first week of the season.
PSU finished the season with a 7-11-0 overall record, with eight of its 11 losses coming by one goal. The Panthers finished 4-3 in the Little East, qualifying for the LEC Tournament for the first time since 2008, but were edged in overtime in the semifinals by eventual champion Eastern Connecticut, 2-1.
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