Panthers' playoff hopes spoiled by Beacons
BOSTON, Mass. – A Marcus Pizzetti (Malden, Mass.) goal with less than 10 minutes to play in regulation Saturday afternoon proved to be the deciding tally as the University of Massachusetts Boston men's soccer team defeated Plymouth State University, 2-1, in a key Little East Conference match at Clark Athletic Center Field.
The Beacons' playoff hopes remain alive as they go into the final weekend of Little East play next Saturday at Rhode Island College. UMass Boston still has a hold on fourth place in the standings as they improved to 11-6-1 overall and 3-2-1 in the conference. Plymouth State dropped to 5-6-3 overall and 1-3-2 in the Little East and out of the playoff hunt.
Pizzetti's clincher marked the 11th of the year for the junior after he fired home a pass from Rolando Barbosa (Fogo, Cape Verde) at the 80:27 mark. Barbosa was able to slide the ball to his teammate as Pizzetti came sprinting into the box.
Barbosa also tallied the afternoon's first marker, which came in the first six minutes of play. Pizzetti assisted on the play to give UMB a huge 1-0 lead at the time. Barbosa's then go-ahead goal was a chip shot that beat Plymouth State goalkeeper Felix Lindeberg (Stockholm, Sweden), who was standing eight yards off of his line.
The Panthers got their lone goal off of the foot of sophomore Graham Hughes (Billerica, Mass.) with 25 seconds remaining the first half. Classmate Alex Herbert (Lexington, Mass.) drove a perfect ball from the sideline across the box where it was nearly knocked in by a Panther player. However no one was able to connect, until it found Hughes wide open on the far post. The sophomore defender one-timed the ball to the near post to tie the score at 1-1.
The second half was a back-and-forth battle with neither team really getting off too many solid chances. Following the goal from Pizzetti, the Beacons would then go all 11-men behind the ball to prevent any chance of another late tally by the Panthers. Plymouth State did try keep up the pressure, but the Beacons defense held strong in the closing minutes to earn the victory.
Plymouth State held a 16-7 advantage in shots, and a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks. UMB goalkeeper Alfonso Rosales (Revere, Mass.) made four saves to notch his 10th victory of the season. Lindeberg tallied one stop for PSU.
PSU plays a non-conference game Wednesday at Middlebury College, while the Beacons return to action next Saturday when they travel to Rhode Island College for 1 p.m. Little East Conference match.
(Courtesy of UMass Boston Sports Information)
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