Kings Point, NY – Dan Weldon (Holland Township, NJ) and Tanner Nestler (Ashville, NC) scored within 20 seconds of each other in the second half as the USMMA men's soccer team knocked off St. Joseph's (LI), 2-1, Tuesday night at Brooks Stadium. The Mariners were forced to erase a 1-0 deficit after Fabio Alves scored in the 38th minute for the Eagles. Gary Poulin (Hauppauge, NY) recorded four saves as USMMA has now won three of its last four games.
"It was a frustrating evening, as we had numerous chances to score, yet couldn't cash in until late in the second half," said USMMA Head Coach Michael Smolens. "Although we would have liked to put the game away early, we are pleased with the way the team kept working hard and were able to secure the win. We know we need to finish our chances better as our conference season is now upon us."
St. Joseph's (LI) (0-7-1) had the first good scoring chance of the contest, which came late in the first half. Chris Hall solidly struck a shot from 25 yards out but Poulin leapt up to make the save and keep the game scoreless.
The Eagles would take a 1-0 advantage on Alves' marker with just 7:35 to play in the period. The junior forward found himself on the break away and had his first shot turned away by Poulin. But the rebound bounced right back to Alves who deposited his second attempt into the back of the net.
Merchant Marine (3-4-1) had several chances to level the game early in the second half but shots from Nick Vogel (Mechanicsburg, PA) and Kyle Aresivo (Northport, NY) were just off target. USMMA would get the equalizer in the 69th minute on a goal set up by Tim Hughes (Ballston Lake, NY). Hughes swung in a cross from the right side that Weldon headed home for his second goal of the year, tying the game at 1-1.
The Mariners struck again 20 seconds later on what would be the game winner off the foot of Nestler. The senior midfielder rushed into the zone and fired a shot from just outside the 18-yard box that ricocheted off the left post and in, ultimately giving Merchant Marine a 2-1 victory.
The USMMA men's soccer team opens conference play this Saturday on the road against Susquehanna. Game time is set for 12:00 pm.