BOSTON, Mass. - A Marcus Pizzetti (Malden, Mass.) goal with less than 10 minutes to play in regulation proved to be the deciding tally as men's soccer defeated Plymouth State University by the score of 2-1 in a key Little East Conference match Saturday afternoon at Clark Athletic Center Field.
With the victory the Beacons playoff hopes remain very much alive as they go into the final weekend of Little East play next Saturday at Rhode Island College. UMass Boston still has a tight hold on fourth place in the standings as they improved to 11-6-1, 3-2-1 in the conference. For Plymouth State University they dropped to 5-6-3, 1-3-2 in the Little East following Saturday's loss.
Pizzetti's clincher marked the 11th of the year for the junior after he fired home a pass from Rolando Barbosa (Fogo, Cape Verde) at the 80:27 mark. Barbosa was able to slide the ball to his teammate as Pizzetti came sprinting into the box.
Barbosa also tallied the afternoon's first marker, which came in the first six minutes of play. Pizzetti assisted on the play to give UMB a huge 1-0 lead at the time. Barbosa's then go-ahead goal was a chip shot that beat Plymouth State goalkeeper Felix Lindeberg who was standing eight yards off of his line.
The goal for Barbosa was his eighth of the season, as he remains third on the team in goals scored and total points with 17. His helper to Pizzetti in the second half was his second of the campaign.
For the Panthers they got their lone goal off of the foot of Graham Hughes with 25 seconds remaining the first half. Alex Herbert started the play when he brought the ball down the far side line. He then drove a perfect ball across the box where it was nearly knocked in by a Panther player. However no one was able to connect, until it found Hughes wide open on the far post. The sophomore defender one-timed the ball to the near post beating goalkeeper Alfonso Rosales to tie the score at 1-1.
After the halftime break the second half was a back-and-forth battle with neither team really getting off too many solid chances. Following the goal from Pizzetti, the Beacons would then go all 11-men behind the ball to prevent any chance of another late tally by the Panthers. Plymouth State did try keep up the pressure, but the Beacons defense held strong in the closing minutes to earn the victory.
On the day, Plymouth State held a 16-7 advantage in shots (5-3 shots on goal), and a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks. Rosales made four saves to notch his 10th (10-6-1) victory of the season, which ties him for second all-time in wins in a season. Lindeberg tallied one stop as he fell to 0-3-2 on the year.
The Beacons return to action next Saturday when they travel to Rhode Island College for 1 p.m. Little East Conference match.