PLYMOUTH, N.H. - Senior Cerissa Grasso (Lynnfield, Mass.) scored a beautiful goal five minutes into overtime Tuesday evening to lift Salem State College past Plymouth State University, 2-1, in a non-conference women's soccer match under the lights at Panther Field.
Grasso split two Panther defenders along the right edge of the box, and booted a looping liner over the goalkeeper's outreached hands into the top left corner of the goal, sending the visiting Vikings home with the win. Salem State won its third straight game to improve to 3-5-1 overall, while PSU had its two-game win streak stopped and dropped back to the .500 mark at 4-4-0.
Salem State took an early lead when freshman Erin O'Brien (Hanson, Mass.) received a crossing pass from classmate Katy-Lyn Verette (Saugus, Mass.) and headed it into the goal less than five minutes after the opening whistle. That ended up being the only scoring until there was 10 minutes remaining in regulation, despite numerous scoring chances for both teams.
With time winding down, freshman Alex Marcell (Pittsford, Vt.) got the equalizer for Plymouth State, knocking in her team-leading fourth goal of the season. That forced the extra session, when Grasso won it for the Vikings. Grasso had scored both goals in Salem's last game, a 2-1 win over Southern Maine.
PSU finished with a 16-9 advantage in shots and a 6-1 margin in corner kicks. Viking keeper Abby DeAngelo (Lowell, Mass.) earned the win with a 10-save effort, while PSU senior Ashley Riberdy (Manchester, N.H./Memorial) suffered the loss despite making six saves.
The Panthers return to Little East Conference action Sunday with a 12 p.m. contest at Western Connecticut. The Vikings return home to host Fitchburg State Saturday in a Massachusetts State College Athletic Conference match-up (2:00 p.m.)
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