Scranton, PA - The USMMA soccer team fell at Scranton, 4-1, Wednesday night as the Royals posted two goals in each half to pick up three points in the conference standings. The Mariners will now need help to make the Landmark Conference playoffs but will now exactly where they stand before Monday night's season finale against Catholic. If either Juniata or Scranton finishes with less than three points in their respective games on Saturday, Merchant Marine can clinch a post season berth with a victory over the Cardinals.
"We played poorly tonight and paid for our level of play when we surrendered two quick goals midway through the half," said Head Coach Michael Smolens. "We created some decent chances and were able to finish late in the match. Although we were disappointed to give up another goal, we were pleased that we kept pushing forward and our team never gave up. We play a tough catholic team on Monday and know that our chance for the playoffs depends on a victory."
Scranton (10-2-4, 3-2-1 Landmark) scored back-to-back goals in 1:04 as Michael Bergen and Kevin Kozic both found the back of the net. Kozic would extend the Royals advantage to 3-0 just over two minutes into the second half on a pass from Colin McFadden.
Merchant Marine (6-7-1, 3-3-0 Landmark) made it 3-1 in the 83rd minute of action as Dan Weldon (Holland Township, NJ) deposited an unassisted goal. The marker was the sophomore forward's sixth goal of the 2013 season. However, Scranton made sure there was no late comeback and moved the score line to 4-1 with just 2:30 remaining on regulation following a Rich Loeffler goal.
The Mariners play their final contest of the 2013 regular season, which was rescheduled from October 19 at a neutral site, Bishop Eustace Preparatory School in Pennsauken, NJ. Game time is set for 7:30 pm.