KEENE, N.H. - In a physical battle between New Hampshire-foes in Little East Conference (LEC) action, the Keene State men's soccer program dropped a 2-1 decision in overtime to Plymouth State, as Nick Rutherford scored with 1:10 remaining in the first overtime period to seal the win for the Panthers on Saturday afternoon at the Owl Athletic Complex.
- Keene State: 6-3-3, 2-1-1 LEC
- Plymouth State: 3-8-0, 2-2-0 LEC
How It Happened
Plymouth State took an early lead, as Joni Hongisto fed a pass to Nick Rutherford, who collected the ball at the top of the box and fired off a shot that soared into the high right corner to put the visiting team up one at the 10:55 mark. Senior William Salta found the equalizer in the 30th minute, as the forward dribbled the ball through KSC's offensive third and into the box, past multiple PSU defenders, before tucking the ball past the Panthers' goalkeeper Linus Lindebery in a one-on-one situation to make the score even at one.
After a foul in the box against the Owls in the 57th minute, the Panthers looked to gain the advantage with a penalty-kick opportunity. Erik Armskog stepped up to take the shot, but Keene State's goalkeeper senior Jason Smith came up big with a save to keep the two teams knotted up at one. Keene State looked to even the score multiple times midway through the second half, as Samuel Binogono worked the ball into the box and fed a pass to senior Promise Kpee, before the forward's chance went wide. In the 75th minute, a corner kick by senior Thomas Bartley placed the ball in front of the net for Keene State, but senior Riley Steele's shot was blocked and Bartley's second chance went high. Keene State held the majority of the possession in the later part of the second stanza, as Salta aimed to earn a brace for Keene State with 10 minutes remaining in regulation, as the forward dribbled the ball up the right side and into the box, but his opportunity was taken away by Plymouth State defenders, forcing the two teams into overtime.
The Owls produced two opportunites early in the first overtime stanza, as back-to-back shots by Salta tested the Panthers, but one chance went high and the other was scooped up Lindeberg. The game was decided with just under two minutes remaining, as Plymouth State got the ball into the Owls' box and fired off three shots. Smith was able to stop the first chance, but the shot pulled him out of goal with the rebound landing right next to the goal line, as a scramble in the six-yard box ensued, eventually ending with a strike from Rutherford, set up by Jerry Randolph.
Inside the Box
- Keene State held a 22-19 edge in shots over Plymouth State and the Owls earned seven corner kicks to the Panthers' five.
- In goal, Smith made multiple diving saves to keep the Panthers at bay, as the senior registered seven on the match, including three saves in overtime, while his counterpart Lindeberg notched five stops in the win.
- This is only the second-time since 2007 that Plymouth State has defeated Keene State. The Panthers' other win came in 2015.
- Keene State will have a quick turnaround, as the Owls head to Lasell on Monday, October 9th for a non-conference contest with the Lasers, beginning at 3:30 p.m.
- Plymouth State will take a week long break, before heading to Southern Maine on Saturday, October 14th for a LEC matchup against the Huskies at 2:30 p.m.