The United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners (4-2-0) defeated the Gophers of Goucher College (1-3-1) in overtime Saturday afternoon to take an early advantage in the Landmark Conference standings.
The game deciding goal was scored in the last minute of the first overtime when sophomore forward Nick Vogel hit the back of the net with a blast from about 18 yards out.
The Mariners maintained solid possession throughout the contest. Although they heavily outshot the Gophers 21-8, they were unable to capitalize on their chances.
Merchant Marine had some good opportunities early on. In the fifth minute, Vogel had a breakaway chance that he put just to the left of the Gopher goal. One minute later, senior captain Ryan Silveira rifled a shot that was saved by Goucher's goalkeeper.
USMMA's defense was also solid. In the seventh minute, sophomore defender Abboss Rezaie stopped a scoring opportunity and cleared the ball to prevent a Gopher breakaway chance. In the 20th minute, junior goalkeeper Stephen Fucito beautifully challenged a cross through the box; keeping the ball away from the Gopher attackers.
However, it was Goucher that got on the board first when sophomore midfielder Nate Margolis corralled a ball off of a defensive turnover and looped it over the head of Fucito in the 37th minute.
It didn't take the Mariners long to respond when freshman midfielder Kyle Redrow scored in the 42nd minute to knot the game 1-1.
The second half was more of the same, with neither team able to find the back of the net. The save of the match came in the 88th minute when Fucito made a full extension dive to right to keep the ball out of the net and force overtime.
The only shot in the extra period was the aforementioned game winner which gave the Mariners the victory.
"For the 2nd match in a row we played some good soccer, had some excellent possession, and created a number of good chances around the goal. Again we had trouble finding the net and putting the game away," said Head Coach Mike Smolens. "Goucher worked very hard and we were pleased that our players kept their composure and were able to get the win."
The Mariners will travel to NYU (6-0-0) Wednesday September 19th for their next match at 7:00PM.