KINGS POINT, N.Y. – Senior forward Andrew MacKenzie celebrated his 21st birthday in the best possible way on Tuesday night, scoring the lone goal of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy's 1-0 stunning upset victory over No. 18 William Paterson College.
The Mariners (7-3-1) snapped a two-game winless streak as they handed the Pioneers (8-2-2), who are ranked 18th in the nation by www.D3Soccer.com, only their second shutout this season.
"William Paterson is as dangerous and talented a team we have played all year," Kings Point coach Mike Smolens said. "It's a good win for our team. We still feel we need to play more consistent soccer. But a result like this hopefully will help us gain confidence as we prepare for some games ahead."
After the Mariners grabbed the lead, William Paterson kept pushing forward, looking for holes in the hosts' defense.
Junior goalkeeper Gary Poulin was brilliant, making seven saves, including a punch save at 87:07 as he posted his second shutout of the season. Kings Point has five clean sheets.
"Our defense played smart and strong," Smolens said. "Gary did a great job whenever they penetrated the defense. He turned them away."
Junior forward Naeem Boucher came close to equalizing in 72:30 as his shot hit the crossbar and bounded away.
The Pioneers outshot Kings Point, 16-9.
The Mariners, who began a five-game homestand on Tuesday night that will span 16 days, will host Catholic University in a Landmark Conference match at noon on Saturday and Stevens Tech at Tomb Field on Wednesday, Oct. 12. William Paterson, Catholic and Stevens played in the Division III tournament last year, as did the Merchant Marines.