Panthers fall on penalty kick in 83rd minute
MANSFIELD, Conn. – Senior Linnea Reich (Middletown, Conn.) converted a penalty kick in the 83rd minute to lead fourth-seeded Eastern Connecticut State University over fifth-seeded Plymouth State University, 1-0, in the first round of the Little East Conference (LEC) women's soccer tournament at Rick McCarthy Field on Tuesday night.
Plymouth State wraps up its season with an 8-10-0 record, while the Warriors advance to the semifinal round where they will face top-seed UMass Boston on Thursday (Nov. 7) at 7:00 p.m.
For the second time in four days the Panthers came out on the short end of a one-goal decision at Eastern Connecticut. PSU had multiple chances, outshooting the hosts by a 15-11 margin, but the Warriors' goalkeeper made a number of strong saves to keep Plymouth State off the scoreboard.
Plymouth State 0, Eastern Connecticut 1
Plymouth State (8-10-0)
Eastern Connecticut (7-11-0)
How it Happened:
- Plymouth State applied pressure on the offensive side in the opening half, holding a 5-2 edge in shots on goal, but neither team was able to break through.
- The Panthers' best opportunity in the first half came in the 43rd minute when a shot off the foot of junior Mallory Lloyd (Hartland, Vt.) found the crossbar.
- PSU maintained the pressure into the second half, forcing junior goalkeeper Alexis Tyrrell (Torrington, Conn.) to make a number of saves in the early going.
- It looked like the Warriors had taken the lead in the 69th minute, but the home team was whistled for offsides.
- Eastern Connecticut had another prime chance in the 78th minute. A Warriors' header off a corner kick bounced off the crossbar right back to an Eastern Connecticut player. Her volley was momentarily deflected away by a Panthers' defender, and sophomore goalkeeper Cat Robbins (Franklin, Mass.) made the save on the follow-up attempt to keep the game scoreless.
- The hosts pulled ahead in the 83rd minute after a PSU foul in the box resulted in a penalty kick and Reich put the ball inside the right post for the only score of the game.
- Sophomore Lizzy Bloch (Valley Village, Calif.) had one last opportunity for PSU, but Tyrrell made a sprawling save on her shot in the 86th minute to preserve the lead.
Inside the Numbers:
- Robbins finished the year with a 6-6-0 mark after making four saves.
- Tyrrell moved to 3-5-0 for the Warriors, making eight saves to post her first career shutout.
- Lloyd led the Panthers with six shots, including four on target.
- PSU held a 15-11 edge in shots, including an 8-5 advantage in shots on goal.
- Eastern Connecticut earned three corner kicks to the Panthers' one, with all four coming in the second half.
- Lloyd wraps up the season as PSU's top scorer with 11 goals, eight assists and 30 points.
- Plymouth State returned to the LEC Tournament for the first time since 2016.
Straight From the Coach's Mouth:
"Definitely a tough way to end a season with the decider being a PK," said head coach Ryan Joy. "I asked them to play their best game of the season and they did. We play sports because the better team doesn't always win and today we fell into that circumstance. I'm very proud of the team on a great season. I don't think the conference will take us lightly anymore in the future."
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