Washington, PA – The United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners clinched their first Landmark Conference playoff berth since 2010 with a 9-6 victory against the Presidents of Washington & Jefferson College Sunday afternoon in Washington, PA.
The Mariners improve to 8-6 overall and 3-2 in the Landmark Conference to lock down the fourth seed entering the conference tournament in 10 days. Wash. & Jeff. falls to 4-7 overall and 0-4 within the conference in their second year of Landmark play.
USMMA senior attacker Delaney Oksman (Portsmouth, VA) led Kings Point in scoring, tallying four of Merchant Marine's nine goals. Freshman goalkeeper Kevin Young (Springfield, WV) notched his third career victory in three career starts, making seven saves on the afternoon.
Merchant Marine doubled the Presidents' shot total (44-22) and successfully converted 14 of their 17 clearing attempts. Senior midfielder Sean Sheehy (Annapolis, MD) did an extremely good job of contributing to the Mariners' possession control winning 14 of 18 face offs.
The first quarter was fairly low scoring as Oksman opened the contest with a goal at the 8:06 mark, but Wash. & Jeff drew even less than two minutes later to close out the first with a 1-1 tie.
The second was also tightly contested with Oksman putting the Mariners up by a 3-2 score at the midway point. It looked as though that would be the difference heading into halftime, but Merchant Marine senior attacker Michael Ackerman (Malvern, PA) was able to whip a shot into the Presidents' goal just before time expired to give Kings Point a 4-2 advantage at the break.
USMMA would relinquish the lead giving up the first two tallies of the second half. However, the Mariners would notch five of the game's last seven goals to seal the 9-6 victory.
The Mariners will wrap up their regular season schedule Saturday April 27, when they head to Towson, MD to take on the Gophers of Goucher College. The Gophers, last year's conference champions, are locked into the top seed, as next week's contest will serve as a preview for the Merchant Marine/Goucher matchup slated for the first round of the Landmark tournament.