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Mariners Beat Juniata, Remain Undefeated in Conference Play

The Unites States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners (5-3-0, 2-0-0) upended the Juniata College Eagles (5-4-0, 0-1-0) by a score of 2-1 Saturday afternoon in Huntingdon, PA.

For the second game in a row USMMA's fate was decided by a late penalty kick.  This time, however, it was Merchant Marine who got the benefit of the call improving to 2-0-0 in Landmark Conference play.

The Mariners controlled play throughout much of the contest outshooting the Eagles 17-8. 

Merchant Marine capitalized on one of their early scoring chances when senior defenseman Mark Bloom found sophomore forward Nick Vogel in striking distance from about 25 yards out.  Vogel fired a shot past the Juniata keeper to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead.

The tally marks Vogel's team leading fifth goal and 10th point of the season.  The assist for Bloom was his second of the year, which also leads the Mariners.

The Eagles quickly struck back as a handball was called against the Kings Point defense inside the box.  Juniata junior forward Dane Azeles took advantage of the penalty kick to knot the game at 1-1.

The Mariners continued to put the pressure on Juniata's senior goalkeeper Ezra Cassel, forcing him to make a host of acrobatic saves throughout the match.

The final marker was ripped by Merchant Marine senior captain Kurt Olsen (pictured) in the 107th minute (2OT) to give Kings Point the 2-1 victory.  A beautifully served ball into the box by Bloom deflected off the arm of a Juniata defender; forcing the referee to give USMMA the penalty kick which they were able to capitalized on.

Merchant Marine junior goalkeeper Stephen Fucito added to his Landmark Conference leading save total stopping two shots, giving him 29 on the year.  He also lowered his goals against average to .96, which is fourth best in the conference. 

"We had a lot of chances, but couldn't finish," said Head Coach Mike Smolens.  "Most importantly, we got three big points which is what we need to do in conference play."

USMMA will return to Kings Point on Wednesday September 26th for a non-conference match against Manhattanville College.  Game time is set for 7:45 PM.