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Soccer team loses 1st game to Rutgers-Newark, 1-0

NEWARK, N.J. -- The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy dropped its first match of the season, a 1-0 non-conference loss to Rutgers-Newark on Alumni Field on Wednesday night.

Junior midfielder Brian Barrera scored off a cross from sophomore forward Daniel Naranjo at 17:40 for the lone score of the match.

Rutgers-Newark (3-0-0) controlled the first half. But after making some halftime adjustments, the Mariners (2-1-0), ranked fifth in the North Atlantic coaches poll, came out strong over the final 45 minutes, creating several scoring opportunities.

However, junior goalkeeper Jonathan Frances made three of his four saves in the second half for his second shutout to deny the Mariners the equalizer as the Raiders, fourth in the South Atlantic regional poll.

Mariners junior keeper Garrett Reinert (Houston, Texas) made several spectacular stops among his seven saves.

The Mariners were outshot, 15-14, but finished with more corner kicks (6-2) than the hosts.

"Although we're disappointed with the loss, we're pleased with parts of our performance against a Rutgers-Newark squad that's off to a terrific start," Kings Point coach Mike Smolens said. "We played a strong second half and seemed on the edge of tying the game a number of times.

"We'll learn from the loss and will look to rebound against a Coast Guard team that is off to a good start."

Kings Point hosts archrival Coast Guard on Saturday at 11 a.m.