The United States Merchant Marine Academy Mariners (6-6) fell to the nationally ranked #15 Stevens Tech Ducks (11-2) by a score of 1-0 Wednesday night in Hoboken, NJ.
Stevens, one of the nation's best offenses, kept the pressure on Kings Point throughout the night. The Ducks put four shots on the USMMA goal in the first 16 minutes of play, but Mariners junior goalkeeper Stephen Fucito was up to the challenge, setting the tone for the Merchant Marine defense making a string of early saves.
The Mariners stout defense held the Ducks, who have scored 32 goals in 12 games coming into the contest, to a single tally throughout 90 minutes of play. Their lone goal came in the 57th minute when Ducks senior forward Victor Daza nailed a tough angle shot from the end-line for the game's only score.
"We knew we would have to play against a lot of pressure and our defenders did a real solid job of keeping one of the best teams in the country at bay," said Head Coach Mike Smolens. "Dillon Meagher, Mark Bloom, Kyle Parker, and Ryan Gardner did an excellent job stepping in defensively to help control the [Ducks] attack."
We're obviously disappointed with the loss," continued Smolens, "but the coaches are happy with our team's defensive effort and the way a number of new guys stepped up and contributed in different roles."
With three games left to play this season, all against conference opponents, the remainder of USMMA's schedule is incredibly important. The Mariners will face off against Moravian Saturday, October 13th at 3:00 PM in Bethlehem, PA.