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September 11, 2012

USMMA Upends Maritime, Records Third Shutout this Season

Kings Point, NY --The United States Merchant Marine Academy Marines (3-2-0) defeated the Maritime College Privateers (2-3-0) by a score of 2-0 Tuesday night in Kings Point, NY.

Merchant Marine dominated much of the play throughout the game outshooting the Privateers 25 to five.  The Mariner defense was effective at keeping the ball away from Maritime and their forwards and midfielders were able to generate chances by controlling play in the attacking zone.   

USMMA had a couple of excellent scoring opportunities before the half came to a close.  In the 25th minute junior midfielder Tanner Nestler blasted a shot which was stopped by Privateer senior goalkeeper Michael Vanadia.  Later, in the 39th minute, freshman midfielder Kyle Redrow almost gave the Mariners the lead with a rising shot that Vanadia got just a piece of to deflect off the crossbar and over the net.   

Despite these chances, the Privateers were able to keep the Mariners off the scoreboard in the first half. 

When the second half opened, USMMA continued to apply pressure.  In the 47th minute, sophomore forward Nick Vogel gave Kings Point the lead when he intercepted an errant pass from the Maritime keeper and headed  for the net; placing the ball just out of reach of Vanadia's outstretched arms.

Vogel wasn't done, tallying another eight minutes later, after receiving a pass from senior defender Mark Bloom who recorded the assist. 

It was the first two-goal lead the Mariners have built all season.  They refused to sit on their advantage as they continued to apply pressure until the final horn sounded. 

"Our team had excellent possession and created a number of opportunities in the first half.  When we were unable to score it could've been easy for us to get frustrated," said Head Coach Mike Smolens.  "I was pleased that we kept our poise, got a number of good chances in the second half and scored two nice goals.  Although we would have liked to have finished more, we were pleased with our effort as we move toward our conference opener on Saturday."

Although Mariners' junior goalkeeper Stephen Fucito wasn't challenged much, facing five shots (two on goal), he made an incredible stop in the 81st minute to preserve the shutout.  Privateers' freshman midfielder Patrick McCarty was in alone on a breakaway when Fucito made a diving save to his right to keep the ball out of the net.  

In a combined team defensive effort, Kings Point now has three shutouts in five games.  Of the five goals they've allowed this season, two have come via penalty kicks.   

The Mariners will return to action Saturday morning at 11:00am as they open their Landmark Conference schedule against Goucher College (0-2-1) in Kings Point.