Sept. 17, 2011
NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA-The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth men's soccer team defeated visiting Plymouth State, 1-0, in the 2011 Little East Conference opener for both teams at Cressy Field Saturday.
The Corsairs struck first, just over three minutes into the first half. Sophomore defender Alex Machado (New Bedford, MA/New Bedford HS) received the ball at midfield, then delivered a deep pass behind the Panther defense to sophomore forward Victor Ferreira (St. Michael, Portugal/New Bedford HS), who chipped the ball over Panthers junior goalkeeper Bjorn Ohlsson (Halmstad NA, Sweden/Sannarps Gymnasium), giving UMD a 1-0 lead with 41:58 remaining in the first half. UMD had an opportunity to increase their lead when freshman midfielder Ryland Foster-Gorbach (West Roxbury, MA/Catholic Memorial HS) gathered the loose ball in front of an open net, but fired a shot off the right post.
At the 42:15 mark of the second half, Corsairs junior goalkeeper Mike Phelan (Carver, MA/Carver HS) preserved UMD's one goal lead when he made a diving save on a shot from Panthers junior defender Joakim Martinsson (Morlunda NA, Sweden/Hultsfred Gymnasium) that was destined for the upper left corner of the net, keeping the score at 1-0. Phelan followed that up by shutting down a breakaway attempt by Jake Sjoberg (Linkoping, Sweden/De la Gardie Gymnasium) three minutes later, stifling any momentum built by the Panthers. Another opportunity came for the Panthers with 31:15 to play, but junior midfielder Parker Spear (Sodus Point, NY/Sodus Central HS) missed an open goal, wide right. With thirty seconds left in the game, Sjoberg had the chance to tie the game, but Phelan dove backwards and got just enough of his hand on the ball to tip it away, securing the 1-0 victory for UMass Dartmouth.
"We are very excited for our first conference win," said UMass Dartmouth Head Coach Henry Almeida. "Anytime you win in conference, it's a big deal. We had some good opportunities where we didn't capitalize, and we're fortunate they didn't come back to bite us. Mike [Phelan] has been a starter since his freshman year and today was the proof why. He made three great saves tonight. The first one on the free kick was unbelievable, he went into the upper-90 to get it. On the breakaway, he purely stoned [Sjoberg], but the last save at the end, that was world-class. You don't see professionals make that kind of save. He saved the day for us and I'm happy for him. Next, Salve Regina will be a tough matchup, they are a big, physical team but we are a young team getting better everyday."
UMass Dartmouth out shot Plymouth State, 20-14. Phelan made eight saves and recorded his second shutout of the season, while Ohlsson stopped four shots for the Panthers.
UMass Dartmouth improved to 4-1 and 1-0 in the Little East Conference with the victory, while Plymouth State dropped to 0-5 and 0-1 in LEC action with the defeat. The Corsairs will return to action when they visit Salve Regina Tuesday. Plymouth State will host Castleton State Wednesday.
UMASS DARTMOUTH SOCCER