KINGS POINT, N.Y. (May 5, 2018) – The top-seeded U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's lacrosse team claimed the 2018 Skyline Championship with a 21-15 home victory over #3 seed Mount St. Mary on Saturday afternoon at Brooks Stadium. The win improved the Mariners' record to 13-2, while the Knights end the season with a 12-7 mark.
USMMA has clinched the Skyline's automatic bid into the Division III NCAA Tournament, which will begin next week. The full field of 36 teams will be released tomorrow night, Sunday, May 6, on a selection show that can be viewed at this link.
This is the third time in program history that the Mariners will compete in the national championship tourney and the first time since they won the Landmark Tournament in 2009. The other time was after capturing the 2007 Skyline Conference title.
Senior Pat Coll (Clifton Park, N.Y.) had a monster game on Saturday, scoring seven times and dishing out one assist for eight points on the day. Many of his goals came at such crucial times in the game to stop the Knights' momentum or build on the Mariner lead, and because of that combined with his four points the other night in the semifinals, he was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player.
Classmate Nick Treon (Danville, Pa.) led all players in the game with nine points on five goals and four assists, while sophomore Nick Roros (Northpot, N.Y.) tied his career-high with five points on three goals and two helpers. Both junior Jack Renard (San Clemente, Calif.) and sophomore Liam Connors (Bellemore, N.Y.) found the back of the net once and added two assists each.
Sophomore Mike Morsberger (Catonsville, Md.) registered two goals on the day and four other Mariners notched one point each – juniors Lane Schmidt (North East, Md.) and Michael Rodriguez (Coronado, Calif.) with a goal apiece and senior Tucker Dodson (Charleston, S.C.) and sophomore Nick Vinberg (Massapequa Park, N.Y.) with assists – the defenseman Vinberg's coming on a long clearing pass that led Coll to a breakaway goal in the second quarter.
In the face-off X, freshman Kyle Buser (Babylon, N.Y.) won 24-of-34 draws, while also picking up a game-high 17 groundballs. Junior Charley Hughes (Baltimore, Md.) was 4-for-6 on face-offs as well. Defensively, senior Max Maudsley (Wilton, Conn.) caused a team-best two turnovers.
In goal, freshman Brendan Kane (Lewes, Del.) was dazzling, making 13 saves to claim the victory between the pipes.
Merchant Marine started a little slow out of the gate, as Mount St. Mary built up a 4-2 lead in the opening six minutes, however the Mariners tallied the next three goals to go up 5-4, before the Knights tied it up at 5-5 to end the scoring the opening quarter.
USMMA started to pull away a bit late in the second quarter. After a MSMC goal made it a 8-7 lead for the hosts at 6:04, the Mariners rattled off six-straight goals in a span of just over four minutes to take a 14-7 lead at 2:14 of the second, which it remained into the halftime break.
The Mariners took their largest lead of the day when back-to-back goals to open the third made it 16-7, however Mount St. Mary started to crawl back into it with five of the final seven goals of the quarter and the Merchant Marine lead was just 18-12 going into the final stanza.
MSMC cut the deficit down to just five goals, 19-14, after scoring two of the first three tallies of the fourth, however that was the closest the Knights would come, as the Mariners held on for the big victory.
The Mount was led by senior Dylan De Meo, who tallied six points on five goals and one assist. Classmate Nicholas Graziano had a great game as well with four tallies and one helper, while fellow senior Tristan Earle and sophomore Ryan Maraio both had three points on two goals and one assist.
Senior face-off man Kenneth Gallagher won 12-of-38 draws and led the Knights with nine groundballs. On defense, freshman Danny Marshall caused a game-high three turnovers. Senior goalie Christopher Doerr made 17 saves in the losing effort.
Once again, the Mariners will find out where they will be headed and who they will take on in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Division III National Tournament tomorrow night, Sunday, May 6, during a selection show set to air on NCAA.com at this link.
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