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September 24, 2013

Merchant Marine and NYU Battle to Scoreless Stalemate

Kings Point, NY – The USMMA soccer team played to a 0-0 draw against NYU Tuesday night at Brooks Stadium.  Gary Poulin (Hauppauge, NY) and his counterpart Forrest Sexton both made three saves to notch a clean sheet.  USMMA outshot the Violets 12-8 and played the overtime periods down a man after a red card in the final seconds of regulation.

"I am really pleased with the play of our team tonight," said Head Coach Michael Smolens.  "After being outplayed in the first half, we came out and put NYU under a great deal of pressure.  We created a number of chances and only some excellent NYU goalkeeping kept us off the scoreboard.   When we went down a man, our defenders continued to play hard and smart, and limited our opponents to only a few chances at goal.  We're happy with our effort and our performance, and are hoping that it carries over to the weekend as we continue conference play."

NYU (6-1-1) controlled the ball in the initial stages of the first half but the Mariners defense played tough and did not allow a shot off the pressure.  Kelechukwu Eboh tallied three shots in the first half but two were off target and the third was blocked by the USMMA defense.  The Violets best chance came with just over three minutes to play in the period as a corner kick led to a Tino Karadassis shot from point blank range.  However, Poulin calmly came up with the save to keep it scoreless.

Merchant Marine (4-4-1) stayed compact early and did not generate a shot in the opening 45 minutes.  Kyle Arestivo (Northport, NY) appeared to find space at the top of the 18-yard box in the 25th minute but had the ball tackled away just before he could fire on net.  The two sides would head into halftime still locked in a 0-0 tie.

USMMA had the better chances to start the second half as Tanner Nestler (Asheville, NC) put a shot narrowly outside the right post.  Nick Vogel (Mechanicsburg, PA) appeared to give the Mariners the breakthrough goal seven minutes into the period with a header directly in front of goal.  Sexton made a leaping save to deny Merchant Marine, punching the ball over the crossbar.

Poulin made the next great save of the match, turning away a NYU attempt in the 70th minute.  Deniz Oncu sent a header on frame following a Violets throw in.  Poulin dove to his right to catch the shot and prevent a rebound.  Nestler found an opportunity with 15 minutes left in regulation but Sexton pushed his strong shot just to the right of the post.

The Mariners entered overtime playing with 10 players after having a red card issued with 16 seconds on the clock in the second half.  Both sides had a look at a game winner late in the first overtime but Bryan Walsh for NYU and Vogel for USMMA just missed the target as the contest went into double overtime.

It took only one minute of the second overtime for the Violets to find space as Tim Goldman ripped a shot on net from 20 yards out.  However, Poulin had it lined up from the start and made the save on the line drive to keep the contest at level pegging.  Neither team would be able to generate another chance as the game ended in a 0-0 draw.

The Mariners return to action Friday night for a Landmark Conference contest at Goucher, kick-off is slated for 7:00 pm.