KINGS POINT, N.Y. (March 16, 2019) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's lacrosse team picked up a hard-fought 16-13 home victory over MIT on Saturday at Brooks Stadium. With the win, the Mariners improve to 4-1 on the season, while the Engineers fall to 3-3.
Senior Michael Rodriguez (Coronado, Calif.) led all players with seven points on the day with four goals and three assists, while junior Liam Connors (Bellmore, N.Y.) scored four times and dished out one assist. Both senior Jack Renard (San Clemente, Calif.) and junior Nick Roros (Northport, N.Y.) had three goals and an assist apiece, while juniors Mike Morsberger (Catonsville, Md.) and John Maudsley (Wilton, Conn.) also found the back of the net on the day.
Senior Charley Hughes (Baltimore, Md.) won 10 faceoffs and scooped up a team-high six groundballs, while Rodriguez, Connors and junior Jake Erickson (Cicero, N.Y.) all had four GBs apiece. Four Mariners tied for the game-high with two caused turnovers – Rodriguez, Connors, senior Lane Schmidt (North East, Md.) and freshman Ben Mathews (Chesapeake, Va.).
In net, sophomore Shannon Byrne II (Severna Park, Md.) got the start and made nine saves in the opening half. Classmate Brendan Kane (Lewes, Del.) finished the final 30 minutes and earned the victory while making four saves.
After giving up the first goal of the game, the Mariners scored four-straight to make it 4-1 at 5:46 of the opening quarter. The Engineers tallied two more before time expired in the first, and then only allowed the first goal of the second quarter before finishing the half with four-straight goals, as the visitors took a 7-5 lead into the halftime break.
USMMA came out hot to start the third quarter, scoring seven goals in the first seven minutes of action, including five in less than a two-minute span, and led 12-7 at 8:02. MIT scored two of the last three goals and the Mariners led 13-9 at the end of three.
Rodriguez opened the scoring in the final quarter, but the Engineers answered with three of the next four to come back to within just three, 15-12, with 5:53 to play. Both teams were only able to score once more each, as Merchant Marine held on for the victory.
For MIT, sophomore Mark Heatzig and freshman James Santoro both recorded a team-best six points each, as Heatzig had four goals and two assists and Santoro tallied three goals and three helpers. Junior Aidan Westley and freshman Liam Miller both registered hat tricks on the day.
Sophomore Luke Gianni won 22-of-31 faceoffs and picked up a game-high 11 groundballs. Freshman goalie Lukas Drexler-Bruce suffered the loss despite making eight saves over the 60 minutes.
Up next, the Mariners will take on Connecticut College this Wednesday night, March 20, up in New London, Conn. Opening faceoff is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Camels' Silfen Field. If there are any live links for the game, they will be posted on the USMMA Men's Lacrosse Schedule Page.
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