Masumbuko nets game-winner in extra time for Panthers
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Sophomore Petro Masumbuko (Manchester, N.H./Central) scored the game-winning goal just 21 seconds into overtime Wednesday evening to lift Plymouth State University to a 2-1 victory over New England College in non-conference men's soccer action at Panther Field.
Masumbuko, who missed the last three games due to an injury, took the ball down the right side of the field in overtime, cut to the inside, and fired a shot that caromed off the goalkeeper and into the far side of the net for the game-winner. Masumbuko also assisted on PSU's first goal, which came in the final minute of the first half, tying the game at 1-1 before the intermission.
PSU is now 3-0-2 in its last five games, improving to 5-4-2 overall, while NEC had a six-game winning streak snapped and drops to 8-4-1 overall. The Panthers are also 2-0-2 in overtime games this season.
The Pilgrims got on to the scoreboard first, scoring their goal in the 22nd minute. Senior David Fernandes (Westbrook, Conn.) delivered a free kick from the right side of the midfield area into the offensive box, and junior Manny Arteaga (Norwalk, Conn.) headed the ball past the keeper on the left side for a goal. It was Arteaga's team-leading seventh goal of the season.
Arteaga nearly scored again for NEC less than a minute later but his shot from the right side of the goal area bounced off the post.
The Panthers evened the score just before halftime. Masumbuko sent a cross to the front of the goal, where sophomore Alex Herbert (Lexington, Mass.) connected on a header that bounced off the cross bar and into the goal. Herbert has scored a goal in three of PSU's last four games and leads the team with five goals on the season.
PSU outshot the visitors 7-6 in the first half, but the defenses tightened in the second half and surrendered just three shots per team. The Panthers' best chance came with 23 minutes remaining when sophomore Adam Edmunds (Wilton, N.H.) snuck past the NEC defense and went in alone on the goal but NEC freshman keeper Mark Nowak (Newburgh, N.Y.) came out and made a sliding stop. The Pilgrims' best opportunity came with 16 minutes to play when a shot from the left side by senior Rob Lucas (Hooksett, N.H.) was targeted for the right corner but PSU sophomore keeper Danny Marsh (Farmington, Conn.) dove to knock the ball away.
The home team finished with an 11-9 margin in shots, while NEC had more corner kicks by a 4-3 count. Marsh made four saves to earn the win for the Panthers, while Nowak made three stops for NEC.
Both teams return to conference action on Saturday at PSU hosts Rhode Island College in a Little East Conference contest at Panther Field (1:00 p.m.) and NEC visits Husson University in Bangor, Maine, for a North Atlantic Conference affair (5:00 p.m.)
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