Selinsgrove, PA - The USMMA soccer team opened the 2013 Landmark Conference schedule with a 2-1 overtime victory over Susquehanna Saturday afternoon on the strength of a Dan Weldon (Holland Township, NJ) overtime goal in the 97th minute. Kyle Arestivo (Northport, NY) netted the game's opening goal in the 12th minute on an assist from Nick Vogel (Mechanicsburg, PA).
"It was a tremendous effort by our guys against a high level opponent," said USMMA Head Coach Michael Smolens. "Gary and our defenders held strong against a high pressure attack and we created a number of chances on goal. We were able to finish two of those chances and leave with a well-earned conference win. We are pleased with the effort and know we have more big tests ahead of us."
Merchant Marine (4-4-0, 1-0-0 Landmark) grabbed the early lead as Vogel sent a cross into the box in the direction of Arestivo. The junior deposited his second goal of the year into the bottom corner of the net to put USMMA on top, 1-0. Gary Poulin (Hauppauge, NY) made three of his four saves in goal for the Mariners as the visitors' took a 1-0 advantage into halftime.
Susquehanna (4-2-1, 0-1-0) had the better of the chances in the second half, outshooting Merchant Marine 10-4 in the period. The Crusaders tallied the equalizer with 15:04 remaining in regulation as Samuel Fry knocked in a cross from Daniel Trank. Susquehanna had three shots in the final three minutes of the second half but was unable to hit the target, sending the game into overtime.
In the extra session, Weldon found space on the sideline and fired a shot on net from 20 yards out. The ball found its way into the top-corner, giving the Mariners the 2-1 overtime victory and three points in the conference standings.
The USMMA soccer team returns to action at home Tuesday night as they welcome NYU to Brooks Stadium for a 7:45 pm kick-off.