Late goal by Groves earns deadlock for Panthers
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Senior Adam Groves (Brooksville, Maine) headed in a goal with 8:23 remaining in regulation Saturday afternoon as Plymouth State University and Western Connecticut State University battled to a 1-1 double overtime tie in a Little East Conference men's soccer game at Panther Field.
Western Conn. had pulled ahead 1-0 in the 76th minute on a goal by junior Phil Dagostino (New Fairfield, Conn.) but Groves answered for PSU with his first of the season six minutes later. PSU got off three shots in the two overtime sessions, but could not score the game-winner. PSU is now 4-4-2 overall and 1-1-1 in the Little East, while WestConn is now 2-7-2 overall and 0-1-2 in conference play.
PSU outshot the visitors 9-5 in the opening 45 minutes but neither team was able to mount a scoring opportunity. The Panthers upped the pressure in the Colonial end of the field in the second half but still could not get on the scoreboard.
Dagostino broke through for Western with less than nine minutes remaining on the second half clock. Freshman Aislan Sartori (Danbury, Conn.) sent a beautiful diagonal pass from about 35 yards out to Dagostino in the box, and he headed the ball past the keeper just inside the right goal post. It was Dagostino's team-leading fifth goal of the season.
PSU continue to pressure the Colonial zone, and it paid off with a goal in the 82nd minute. Sophomore Alex Herbert (Lexington, Mass.) made a drop pass from the end line to the left of the goal to Groves in front, and Groves' header found its way into the right side of the goal, tying the score at 1-1.
The Panthers had a couple of chances to score in the overtimes. Herbert made a centering pass to sophomore Adam Edmunds (Wilton, N.H.) late in the first overtime but his header was swatted away by Western sophomore keeper Bobby Strevel (Enfield, Conn.), and a header by senior Jacob Sjoberg (Linkoping, Sweden) in the second extra session went wide right.
Strevel and PSU sophomore keeper Sam Whipple (Kingston, N.H.) each finished with three saves on the afternoon. Plymouth State finished with a 19-8 margin in shots, and 11-5 in corner kicks.
PSU is back in action Wednesday at Panther Field with a 6:00 p.m. kickoff against non-conference foe New England College. Western Conn. plays a non-conference game Wednesday at Curry College.
-- 30 --