NEW LONDON, Conn. (Feb. 27, 2016) - The USMMA men's lacrosse team defeated rival Coast Guard, 16-13, on Saturday in the 2016 season-opener at the Bears' Cadet Memorial Field. The Mariners open the year with a 1-0 record, while USCGA falls to 1-1.
Sophomore Pat Coll (Clifton Park, N.Y.) led all players in the game with eight points on seven goals and one assist. Freshman Jack Renard (San Clemente, Calif.) added five goals, an assist, four groundballs and a caused turnover in his collegiate debut and sophomore Nick Treon (Danville, Pa.) scored twice and dished out two assists.
Also finding the back of the net for the Mariners were senior Ethan Medler (Kingwood, Texas) and freshman Michael Rodriguez (Coronado, Calif.). Medler had one assist along with classmates Michael Atkinson (Virginia Beach, Va.) and Stephen Magretti (Tappan, N.Y.) and freshman Charley Hughes (Baltimore, Md.).
Sophomore Zachary Mullins (Houston, Texas) matched the game-high with five groundballs and senior goalie Kevin Young (Springfield, Va.) had 13 saves to record the win between the pipes. On faceoffs, Hughes was 17-for-32.
The game was tied at 4-4 after the first quarter. The Mariners had gone up 2-0 after Renard's first career goal at 13:34 followed by Coll's first of the game. Coast Guard tied the score up with two quick goals less than a minute apart. Medler scored a man-up goal from Treon to put USMMA back ahead, but the Bears tied the score with just over a minute to go in the quarter.
The second quarter wound up being a big one for Merchant Marine, as the visitors outscored Coast Guard 7-3 in the frame. After Coll picked up his second goal just nine seconds in, the Bears tallied back-to-back goals to take their first and only lead of the day, 5-4. Coll scored the next three goals, including one while lying on the ground after being tackled and burring a shot into the top corner. While on a non-releasable man-up opportunity, Renard added his second at 3:26 and Rodriguez picked up his first career goal at 4:52 to make the score 9-5. Coast Guard responded with a tally with 52 ticks left in the half, but Treon found the twine just seven seconds later to end the scoring in the half.
The Bears came out strong after a goalie change to start the third quarter. They scored just seven seconds into action and then added another just over a minute later to cut their deficit to 10-8. Renard then scored two straight and Treon added his second of the day to move the Mariners' advantage to 13-8. Coast Guard went on to score four of the next five goals spanning into the fourth quarter, with Coll's sixth goal sandwiched between consecutive goals for the Bears.
With the score 14-12 over halfway through the fourth, Renard and Coll scored back-to-back to give the Mariners a four-goal cushion with just under five minutes to play. The defense came up big in the closing minutes, as the Bears managed just one more goal to close out the scoring on the day.
Coast Guard was led by senior Louis DePaolis, who scored three goals and had one assist. Freshman Ian Logan also picked up a hat trick with three goals. DePaolis and senior Jeff Bors both picked up a game-high five groundballs and sophomore John Behnke led all players in the game with three caused turnovers. In goal, sophomore Kurt Caminske suffered the loss after playing the first half and allowing 10 goals while making four saves. He was replaced by freshman Trey Johnson at halftime and Johnson finished the game with six saves, while allowing six goals.
The Mariners return to action on Wednesday, March 9, when they will take on Alfred University in a neutral-site game down in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
With the win, Merchant Marine earns a point towards the chase for the 2015-16 Superintendents' Trophy and now trails Coast Guard, 8-6, overall.
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