Second-half goal lifts defending national champs past Panthers
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Junior Zach Halliday (Cranbury, N.J.) put home a diving header on a corner kick by senior Monil Patel (Niskayuna, N.Y.) in the 58th minute Sunday afternoon and that proved to be the winning goal as defending national champion Tufts University held off Plymouth State University, 1-0, in non-conference men's soccer action at Arold Field.
The Jumbos out-shot the home team by a 22-3 count, but couldn't penetrate the Panther goal line. PSU junior keeper Felix Lindeberg (Stockholm, Sweden) made five impressive saves, and three other Panther defenders made goal-saving stops along the end line. Tufts knocked two shots off the goal post, including one on a penalty kick.
Tufts improved to 3-0 this season, having allowed just one goal, while PSU dropped to 2-3 overall.
Tufts pelted the PSU goal with 14 shots in the first half to just two for PSU, but the game remained without a goal. The best opportunity came on a Tufts penalty kick but junior Nathan Majumder (Williamstown, Mass.) bounced his shot off the left post.
Halliday's diving header broke the scoreless duel 13 minutes into the second half, as his shot went off the ground first, then off the bottom of the cross bar before crossing the line. The feed was a beautiful corner kick service from Patel from the right corner.
Sophomore Kevin Halliday (Cranbury, N.J.) had two excellent scoring opportunities on free kicks just two minutes apart that nearly doubled the Tufts lead, but his first ball hit the right post and Lindeberg came up big for PSU on the next. Lindeberg also stopped junior Gaston Becherano (Hollywood, Fla.) on a redirect with three minutes remaining that would have iced the win.
Junior Scott Greenwood (Weymouth, Mass.) recorded his second straight shutout in goal, making the only save he needed to.
PSU is home again next Saturday for the Little East Conference opener against Eastern Connecticut State University at 2:30 p.m. Tufts returns home to host Connecticut College in a NESCAC contest Saturday at 2:30 p.m.
-- 30 --