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January 31, 2013

Merchant Marine Ready for Battle in 2013

Kings Point, NY – The United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners, who finished the 2012 season ranked seventh in the Landmark Conference with a 4-11 record, are seeking to turn the tide in 2013.

Returning to the Mariner squad are seniors Michael Ackerman (Malvern, PA) and Sam Heard (Rockville Centre, NY) who look to bring a jolt of energy to Merchant Marine after coming back from sea.  Ackerman, an attacker with 61 career points, and Heard, a defender with 79 career ground balls will serve as regimental and team captains for the Mariners.

Bringing experience to the face-off circle is senior Sean Sheehy (Annapolis, MD) who enters the 2013 season with 92 career ground balls and 129 face-offs won.  He averaged over five ground balls per game in 2012 and will serve as a team captain in 2013.

Senior Sean Slattery (Massapequa, NY), a regimental and team captain, can prove to be a huge asset to a stout Mariner defense while junior Ray Waters will look to provide both offensive and defensive support in the middle of the field. 

Helping to lead the charge on attack will be senior Joseph Purcell (Mineola, N Y) and junior team captain Delaney Oksman (Portsmouth, VA), who combined for 43 points in 2012.  Freshmen Gus Sawicki (Louisville, CO), Ethan Medler (Kingwood, TX) and John Atkinson (Garden City, NY), may prove to be newcomers poised to make an immediate impact for the Mariners. 

Entering his 23rd season on the Mariner's sidelines is head coach Tom Gill, who earned his 200th career victory in 2012.  Under Gill, Merchant Marine has won a total of seven conference championships, including a Landmark Conference Championship in 2009 and an NCAA tournament appearance in 2007.

USMMA's 2013 schedule is road-heavy, as the Mariners play 10 of their 16 contests away from Kings Point.  They open the season at home Wednesday Feb. 20 against Stevens Institute who finished 2012 ranked ninth in the USILA Coaches Poll.

The Mariners home conference slate includes Catholic on March 16, Scranton on April 3, and they close their home schedule with Drew on April 13.  Merchant Marine will wrap up their season on April 27 on the road against defending Landmark Conference Champion Goucher.