The United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners (6-5, 2-2) couldn't overcome an early deficit against the Catholic University Cardinals (8-4, 2-1) and were upended 3-2 on Saturday afternoon in Washington, DC. Present at the contest was the Secretary of Transportation the Hon. Ray LaHood.
The Cardinals got on the board quickly with a goal off the foot of junior midfielder Justin Oloriz in the 10th minute of the match.
After surrendering the early score, the Mariners were under pressure for the remainder of the half. Merchant Marine was outshot in the first half by a 14-5 margin. Catholic controlled play and appeared to be the more dangerous team; taking the 1-0 lead into the break.
The Cardinals scored another quick goal in the opening minutes of the second half, increasing their lead to 2-0 in the 49th minute of the contest.
USMMA began to mount a comeback and put the Cardinals under pressure after falling behind by two scores. In the 63rd minute, senior captain Kurt Olsen put the Mariners on the board off of a set piece from Kyle Arestivo (pictured). The tally marked Olsen's second goal and fifth point of the year.
Catholic put an abrupt halt on the Mariner's charge putting one in the back of the net six minute later; extending the Cardinal lead to 3-1.
In the 81st minute, Kings Point once again answered when sophomore defenseman Ryan Gardner headed a ball off an Arestivo cross into the Cardinal net. The goal was Gardner's first of the season. For Arestivo, the assist was his second of the game, bringing his season point total to four.
With less than 10 minutes remaining, Merchant Marine couldn't find an equalizer as time ran out on their comeback attempt, giving Catholic a 3-2 victory in a game which saw a combined total of four second half goals.
"Catholic played good possession soccer," said Head Coach Mike Smolens. "Although disappointed with the loss, we were pleased with the way the guys fought to come back a couple times but just didn't have enough to get over the hump."
With the loss, the Mariners fall to 6-5 overall and 2-2 in the Landmark Conference. With three Landmark games left to play, each match becomes more and more vital as they jockey for position within the conference.
The Mariners next match is a non-conference game at Stevens this Wednesday October 10th at 7:30 PM.