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Merchant Marine Set for Landmark Conference Playoffs

Kings Point, NY – The United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners (8-7, 3-3 Landmark) will make their first Landmark Conference Playoff appearance since 2010 this Wednesday May 1 when they face the Gophers of Goucher College (8-7, 6-0 Landmark) at 7:00 PM in Towson, MD. 

The Gophers are the defending Landmark Champions and have won two of the last three conference titles.  Merchant Marine won the conference in 2009, but have only made the post-season one time since then, and did not advance out of the first round. 

Playoff Preview:

Setting the Scene.. Merchant Marine, seeded fourth, will be facing stiff competition as they square off against the top ranked Gophers who blew their way through the Landmark Conference regular season schedule with a perfect 6-0 record. 

Series History.. The Mariners have yet to beat Goucher since joining the Landmark Conference.  The Gophers have won all six regular season meeting since 2008, including a 10-5 victory over the Mariners on April 27 of this year.  In their only previous post season matchup, Goucher upended USMMA by a 6-2 margin in 2010.

Scouting the Gophers.. Gophers goalkeeper Connor Mishaw currently leads the Landmark Conference in total saves with 177 and is fifth in goals against average allowing 9.39 goals per game.  Pierce Ingram currently leads Goucher in points with 24 goals and eight assists, and Tristan Morris has picked up an astounding 75 ground balls from his midfield position to lead the conference.

A Trio of Scorers.. Much of USMMA's scoring production has centered around sophomore Geoff Harty (Chicago, IL), freshman John Atkinson (Garden City, NY), and senior Michael Ackerman (Malvern, PA).  Together, they have scored 67 of Merchant Marine's 140 goals.  Harty tallied more goals than anyone in the conference during the 2013 campaign with 33, and was fourth in the conference in points with 47.

Young in Net.. Since taking over for starter Alex Peyreigne (Weston, CT) who left for sea after 11 games, Kevin Young (Springfield, VA) has posted a 3-1 record (2-1 Landmark) in his first four career starts. 

Solid on Defense.. The Mariners will need to keep a strong defensive mindset to upset the Gophers.  Senior Sean Sheehy (Annapolis, MD) will look to control possession in the face off circle as he's done all year, winning 64 draws and collecting a team-high 52 ground balls.  Seniors Sam Heard (Boca Raton, FL), Sean Slattery (Massapequa, NY) and freshman Gus Sawicki (Louisville, CO) will look to stop Goucher on the defensive end of the field.