DARTMOUTH, Mass. - The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth generated three goals to break out of its winless streak and take down Plymouth State in the LEC opener for both teams on Saturday.
Score: UMass Dartmouth 3 | Plymouth State 1
Records: UMass Dartmouth (1-3-0, 1-0-0 LEC) | Plymouth State (1-4-0, 0-1-0 LEC)
How it Happened
After a quiet opening twenty minutes of each squad's first conference matchup of the year, Plymouth State's Nick Rutherford (Melbourne, Australia) was on the receiving head of a corner kick but his header attempt missed high. At the 33:43 mark, senior Fabio Araujo (Fogo, Cape Verde) found himself alone on a breakaway with just one defender to beat. The Corsair midfielder dribbled along the right sideline and then crossed over towards the middle of the field, and then cut back towards the outside to elude his opponent. A strong right-footed finish put UMass Dartmouth in the lead - one they would never surrender on the afternoon
Just 120 seconds later, sophomore George Papoulis (Neapoli, Greece) came just inches away from doubling the Corsair advantage but a brilliant stop by Plymouth's Dan Shaw (Winchester, England) right on the goal line turned the hosts away. The Panther defense, anchored by Filip Johansson (Lulea, Sweden) and Nate Roberts (Gorham, Maine), kept the visitors within striking distance as the Little East foes headed into halftime
Senior classmates Austin Dias (Smithfield, R.I) and Tony Gonzalez (Medellin, Colombia) combined for UMass Dartmouth's second goal of the afternoon ten minutes into the second half. Dias beat the defense along the far sideline with just the keeper between the Corsairs and the net; after dribbling to the baseline, Dias crossed the ball past a diving Linus Lindeberg (Stockholm, Sweden) to Gonzalez for a tap-finish
The Panthers showed their fight by scoring a goal of their own at the 60:18 mark, when Plymouth State made use of the two-man game on a give-and-go between Nick Rutherford (Sydney, Australia) and Harry Rubinic (Sydney, New South Wales). A soft touch pass from the latter to the former at the top of the box resulted in the Corsair lead being cut in half
The hosts retaliated quickly after as Elvis Mendes (Brockton, Mass.) broke away from the pack as he hustled along the right side of the field with a through-ball awaiting him approximately 40 yards away from goal. Panther keeper Lindeberg came out to contest the sophomore, but not before Mendes crossed a pass to teammate Haden Cordeiro (Dartmouth, Mass.) in front of the goal
Araujo delivered two more high-velocity shots on frame, but the Cape Verdean native found post and crossbar during the remaining 15 minutes
Inside the Numbers
- UMass Dartmouth recorded five corner kicks in the second half, their most such in a half and in a game thus far this season.
- The Corsair offense busted out for three goals this afternoon, also their highest total of the 2017 campaign.
- Plymouth State entered today with a three game winning streak versus UMass Dartmouth, dating back to the 2014 season.
The men's soccer team stays home for a Wednesday evening match with Salem State, slated for a 7 p.m. start. The Panthers return home to take on Johnson & Wales University at 4:30 p.m. on Monday.