Saltalamacchia scores for Panthers
MANSFIELD, Conn. – Junior Daniela Marchitto broke a 1-1 tie 13 minutes into the second half Saturday afternoon to power the Eastern Connecticut State University women's soccer team to a 3-1 Little East Conference victory over Plymouth State University at the Mansfield Outdoor Complex.
After the teams played scoreless through the first 50 minutes, the squads combined for three goals in less than eight minutes. Eastern Conn. went on to improve to 4-4-0 overall and 2-0-0 in the Little East, while PSU dropped to 3-4-0 overall and 0-2-0 in conference play.
Eastern junior Kelly Wallace and PSU senior Sammi Jo Saltalamacchia traded goals a little more than three minutes apart early in the second half before Marchitto knocked in a left-footer from close range to give the Warriors the lead for good, 2-1. Marchitto maintained possession in traffic in the box after receiving a short pass from sophomore Tamar Merheb, and sent a quick shot at PSU senior keeper Angelina LaBroad. LaBroad left her feet to knock the shot down, but the momentum of the shot allowed the ball to roll inside the left post.
Wallace's second goal of the year had given the Warriors the lead less than five minutes into the second half. Junior Chelsea Downer set up the play with a pass from the right side into the box. Marchitto let the cross travel untouched through her legs to the far side to Wallace, who buried a hard shot above the leap of LaBroad.
Saltalamacchia converted for PSU to tie the game, taking a pass from sophomore Molly Todd and beating Eastern junior keeper Mackenzie MacLeod with a high shot that sailed inches inside the left post. The Warriors added an insurance goal midway through the second half when sophomore Nicole Leonard was credited with her fourth goal of the year on a crossing pass from the right wing from sophomore Blair Church.
In the final 20 minutes, Church was denied a goal when she hit the cross bar, and LaBroad robbed Marchitto and freshman Rachael Skinner with sprawling stops.
LaBroad made eight saves and also got one at the post from senior back Sarah Pandiscio early in the second period. Five of LaBroad's saves came in the first half when the Warriors came up empty despite a 9-1 advantage in shots. MacLeod made two saves to record her fourth victory.
PSU travels to Lyndon State for a non-conference game on Tuesday before beginning a four-game homestand next Saturday against rival Keene State. Eastern visits Salem State University Wednesday at 6 p.m.
(Courtesy of Eastern Connecticut Sports Information)
-- 30 --