Selinsgrove, PA – The United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners (9-8, 3-3) were upended in the Landmark Conference Championship game by a 6-3 margin as the University of Susquehanna Crusaders (12-6, 4-2) won their first-ever Landmark Conference Lacrosse Championship, Saturday evening in Selinsgrove, PA.
The contest was a low-scoring, defensive struggle as only one goal was scored the entire first half with Crusaders' freshman attacker Connor Moran (Delafield, WI) giving Susquehanna a 1-0 advantage at the 11:25 mark of the first quarter.
Although USMMA outshot the Crusaders 13-8 in the first half, they just couldn't find a way to beat senior goalkeeper Will Torrence (Wallingford, PA) of Susquehanna.
The Crusaders would begin the second half with three straight tallies to open a 4-0 lead before Mariners' freshman attacker Robert Tirrito (Centerport, NY) netted a man-up marker to put an end to Susquehanna's shutout with 4:34 remaining in the third quarter.
A pair of Kings Point goals to open the fourth from senior attacker Delaney Oksman (Portsmouth, VA) and junior midfielder Phil Walker (East Falmouth, MA) brought the Mariners within one score with only 5:39 remaining.
Unfortunately for Merchant Marine, their charge fell just short as the Crusaders were able to tack on a pair of goals at the end to claim the 6-3 victory and the title of 2013 Landmark Conference Champions.
The contest was neck-and-neck throughout as neither team seemed to be able to grab a significant advantage. Shots were 23-21 in favor of the Mariners, groundballs were 31-29 in favor of Merchant Marine, and Kings Point also had a 7-6 advantage on face offs.
The teams were even in saves with eight apiece, but Susquehanna was able to put more shots on goal (14-11) to challenge freshman goalkeeper Kevin Young (Springfield, VA), and ultimately come away with the win.
Oksman's two points led the Mariners in scoring with a goal and an assist. Senior defenseman Sean Slattery (Massapequa, NY) and senior midfielder Sean Sheehy (Annapolis, MD) scooped up a team-high five groundballs apiece.
For Susquehanna, Moran and junior attacker Austen Lein (New Vernon, NJ) accounted for all of the Crusader goals as they notched three each with Lein eventually tallying the game-winner.
The Merchant Marine lacrosse program showed great improvement this season, making it all the way to the Landmark Championship game after not winning a single conference matchup in either of the past two seasons; Kings Point ends their 2013 campaign with a record above .500 for the first time since 2009.