Sjoberg, Herbert lead Panthers back to .500 mark
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Plymouth State University got second-half goals from senior Jacob Sjoberg (Linkoping, Sweden) and sophomore Alex Herbert (Lexington, Mass.) Tuesday afternoon en route to a 2-0 victory over Norwich University in non-conference men's soccer action at Panther Field.
The tight defensive battle between the two teams was decided in a 17-minute stretch midway through the second half. The teams combined for just 15 shots in the game, nine by the home squad.
PSU has posted three consecutive shutouts, going 2-0-1 in that span to even its season record at 4-4-1. Norwich has gone 0-2-1 in its last three, all on the road, to drop to 5-3-2 overall.
PSU sophomore keeper Sam Whipple (Kingston, N.H.) needed to make just two saves to post his second straight shutout. He got strong help from the defensive line in front of him, which included senior Adam Groves (Brooksville, Maine), freshmen Josh McLaughlin (Holliston, Mass.) and Dan Miceli (Washington, N.J.), junior Felderson Thelusma (Somersworth, N.H.) and Herbert.
The Panthers had a 5-2 margin in shots in a scoreless first half, with the only good scoring opportunity coming early on. Sjoberg fired a shot from the top right of the offensive box but the ball went wide left.
The home team broke into the scoring column with 24 minutes remaining in the second half. Sophomore Adam Edmunds (Wilton, N.H.) weaved through the Norwich defense on the left side, and slid a pass to Sjoberg just outside the box; Sjoberg turned and fired a shot that went into the lower left part of the goal, his second of the season.
PSU added an insurance goal with 7:37 remaining when Herbert blasted a beautiful ball from about 35 yards out on the left side that found the upper right side of the goal, his team-leading fourth goal of the season.
Norwich's best chance came less than a minute later but Whipple made a diving save on a shot by sophomore Christian Albrecht (Albuquerque, N.M.)
Junior keeper Christian Hallstrom (Las Vegas, Nev.) made two saves in the Norwich goal.
Plymouth State continues a four-game home stand Saturday with a Little East Conference matchup against Western Connecticut State University for an 11:00 a.m. kickoff. Norwich returns home to Sabine Field on Friday night to host Emmanuel College in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) match (7:00 p.m.)
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