Panthers' upset bid falls short
PLYMOUTH, N.H. – Freshman Amber Pelletier scored two goals Wednesday afternoon, including the game-winner in the 78th minute, as third-seeded Western Connecticut State University knocked off sixth-seeded Plymouth State University, 2-1, in the first-round of the Little East Conference Women's Soccer Tournament at Panther Field.
The Colonials, who were forced to travel to the lower-seeded team due to remnants of last week's snow storm on their home field, needed to come from behind to defeat the upset-minded Panthers. Pelletier tallied the tying goal midway through the first half and the eventual game-winner late in the second.
WestConn improves to 13-6 on the season, and will travel to second-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University for a semifinal match Friday at 6:00 p.m. PSU concludes its season with a 5-11-1 overall record.
Both teams had offensive opportunities in the first 20 minutes of the game but neither was able to put much pressure on the goal. PSU broke through in the 23rd minute when freshman Kate Nixon sent a crossing pass from the right corner into the box. The ball slipped between the WestConn defense and keeper, and senior Sammi Jo Saltalamacchia redirected the ball into the net for her team-leading sixth goal of the season.
It took the Colonials just over five minutes to score the equalizer on a similar play at the other end of the field. Sophomore Ariana D'Aurio delivered a cross from the left corner to Pelletier in the goal crease, and she deposited the ball into the back of the net to tie the game at 1-1.
The teams played the final 17 minutes of the first half and more than 30 minutes of the second half and neither team was able to score. WestConn had more chances and finally made one pay off when Pelletier collected the ball near the top of the box, spun around a defender and sent a shot over the keeper into the upper left 90 for her fifth goal of the season and what turned out to be the game-winning score.
PSU senior keeper Angelina LaBroad finished with four saves, while WestConn junior Caitlin Avery made two stops. The Colonials finished with a 10-4 advantage in shots and a 9-1 margin in corner kicks. The outcome was much closer than the regular season contest, when WestConn downed PSU, 4-0.
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