Laliberte leads five-goal Panther outburst
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Senior Sam Laliberte notched a pair of goals for Plymouth State University Saturday afternoon as the Panthers knocked off Rhode Island College, 5-2, at the RIC Soccer Field and locked up a spot in the upcoming Little East Conference Women's Soccer Tournament.
After trailing, 2-0, PSU scored five unanswered goals and outshot RIC 19-0, in the second half en route to the league victory on the road. The Panthers stopped a three-game losing skid and improved to 5-10 overall and 2-4 in the LEC, while RIC fell to 2-14 overall and 0-6 in conference play.
The Anchorwomen drew first blood in the fifth minute of action as sophomore Stephanie Choiniere found freshman Danielle Peloquin streaking towards the box. Peloquin took the pass, split the defense and ripped a shot past senior goalkeeper Angelina LaBroad for her fourth goal of the season. It was the first time since Sept. 3 that Rhode Island College had held a lead.
RIC increased its advantage to 2-0 in the 20th minute when Peloquin dished the ball to sophomore Lauren Maisano (Bristol, RI) just outside the box. Maisano crossed up the defender and blasted a shot into the top left corner of the net for her team-leading sixth goal of the year.
The Panthers responded in the 25th minute as senior Katie Lozano raced up the sideline and fed senior Sammi Jo Saltalamacchia just outside the box. Saltalamacchia drove towards the net and while along the goal line, slid the ball out front to Laliberte, who popped it up over the head of freshman netminder Audrey Maia to trim the deficit to one. PSU knotted the game at two in the 39th minute when sophomore Anna Lozano snagged a loose ball and launched a shot past Maia from the top of the box for her second goal of the season.
The Panthers roared out of the halftime break, immediately taking the lead on a goal from Saltalamacchia in the 48th minute. She received the pass from sophomore Cassie Graham in the middle of the box and fired a shot past Maia for her team-leading fifth goal of the season.
PSU continued to roll in the final half as freshman Kate Nixon pounced on a rebound and slipped one past Maia to make it a 4-2 ballgame. Plymouth State added some more insurance in the 67th minute on Laliberte's second goal of the game. Dating back to last season's meeting, Laliberte now has six goals in her last two contests against RIC.
Maia made a career-high 13 saves in net for the Anchorwomen, while LaBroad stopped four shots for PSU. Plymouth State outshot RIC, 34-7, in the game and also held the advantage in corner kicks, 7-5.
PSU wraps up the regular season next Friday (Oct. 28) with a 5:00 p.m. conference game on Senior Night at Panther Field against the University of Masachusetts Boston. RIC will play its final home game of the season Wednesday against Lasell.
(Courtesy of Rhode Island College Sports Information)
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