The United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners (6-3-0) upended the Manhattanville College Valiants (3-4-2) by a score of 2-1 Wednesday night in Kings Point.
The match was evenly played throughout, although the Valiants generated a number of scoring chances in the offensive zone outnumbering Kings Point in corner kicks 12-1.
The Merchant Marine defense was up to the challenge. In the 11th minute, Manhattanville had an excellent opportunity off a throw in when Valiants senior defenseman Marco Blasetti headed the ball behind Mariner junior goalkeeper Stephen Fucito. The Kings Point defense held strong heading the ball back out and preventing the score.
Later, in the 35th minute, Fucito made a lunging deflection on a cross through the crease preventing another scoring chance.
"Manhattanville is a talented team with a lot of dangerous players who play a style we're not used to," said Head Coach Mike Smolens. "Our players adjusted well. It was a good win for us."
The first goal of the contest came on a set play in the 61st minute. Manhattanville was called for a handball just outside of their box. Mariner's junior midfielder Alex Palermo-Re bent the free kick just over the outstretched arms of the Valiant keeper and just inside the goalpost to give Merchant Marine the 1-0 advantage.
Ironically, approximately two minutes later, Manhattanville was the beneficiary of a similar call in a almost the exact same spot on their side of the field. Their free kick sailed over the cross bar, keeping the score 1-0.
The game winning goal came off the foot of freshman forward Dan Weldon (pictured). Following a foul committed by Manhattanville roughly 40 yards from their goal, junior defensemen Abboss Rezaie played the set ball towards the middle of the field. Senior captain Kurt Olsen fired the shot on net and Weldon deflected it by the goalkeeper at the last second to extend the Mariner lead.
"With a few of our players out, we had a number of guys step up and perform well when called upon," added Smolens. "Alex Palermo-Re, making his first start of the year, shot a beautiful ball to give us the lead. Erik Kempinski, who saw his first action of the season, came in and did an excellent job playing center midfield."
Manhattanville added a goal in the waning seconds, but it would not enough to steal the victory from Kings Point.
The Mariners will return to action this Saturday September 29th to take on Landmark Conference opponent Scranton at 6:00 PM in Brooks Stadium.