Weekend preview: Mariners booters can clinch playoff berth at Susquehanna
KINGS POINT, N.Y. – The Mariners soccer team can clinch a Landmark Conference playoff berth two ways on Saturday.
If the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (3-2-1, 10 points) defeats host Susquehanna University (3-2-0, nine) in its final regular-season match of the season at noon, it will book a spot. The Mariners also can reach the post-season if they tie and Scranton loses.
Because of final exams next week, the Mariners finish up earlier than the rest of the conference and don't play at all the week of Oct. 24.
The third-place Mariners (8-6-1 overall) leads fourth-place Susquehanna (7-6-1 overall) by a point. A win would give the Merchant Marine 13 points. That would place fifth-place Scranton (2-2-1, seven) in a must situation against first-place Catholic University (5-0-0, 15) on Saturday and No. 7 Juniata College (1-4-0, three) on Saturday, Oct. 29.
The top four teams in the conference qualify for the conference semifinals, with the highest two seeds hosting, on Wednesday, Nov. 2. The Landmark final is set for Saturday, Nov. 5 at the highest surviving seeded team.
Kings Point (2-5, 1-2) visits Hobart College (4-0, 2-0), which broke into this week's D3football.com poll at No.2 5, in the schools' homecoming game in Liberty League action in Geneva, N.Y.
Hobart, coming off a 41-24 win at Union on Oct. 8 (it had a bye week last week), sports a defense that has allowed an average of 13.2 points a game (53 points allowed) and an attack that has amassed 153 points, an average of 38.2. The Statesmen have been particularly stingy against the run, which is the Mariners' specialty, surrendering only 439 yards in four games.
The Statesmen lead the all-time series between the schools, 7-4. The Mariners won the first four meetings, but Hobart has dominated since the Academy joined the Liberty League in 2004. Merchant Marine dropped last year's meeting, 40-33.
You can listen to play-by-play man Seth Cantor and color analyst Jaden Daly. The pre-game show is set for 1:30 p.m., followed by the opening kickoff at 2 p.m.
To listen to the game, visit: http://kpmariners.blogspot.com/
The Mariners (9-15) hit the road this weekend for their final encounter, a tri-match in Danbury, Conn. They face Western Connecticut at 5 p.m. on Friday before taking on Wesleyan at 11:30 Saturday, followed by a 2 p.m. encounter against Babson.
After three-week break, the men's and women's teams compete in the St. Joseph's Invitational at Sunken Meadow State Park on Saturday.
Photo: Kevin Pfeil and his Kings Point teammates will take on Susquehanna on the road on Saturday. Photo by Shawn Antonelli