BALTIMORE (Sept. 3, 2016) – The USMMA men's soccer team opened the 2016 season with a 1-1 draw after 110 minutes against Fredonia on the first day of the Blue Jay Invitational, hosted by Johns Hopkins, on Saturday afternoon.
The Blue Devils struck first exactly four minutes into the game to grab an early 1-0 lead. A throw in by senior Brandon Butts made its way to junior Dan Griffin, who found the back of the net. The Mariners would go on to outshoot Fredonia, 11-2, in the opening 45 minutes, but five saves by sophomore Jeremy Bari kept the score 1-0 in favor of the Blue Devils.
Senior goalkeeper Cory Maier (Hampton, Va.) made two saves in the first 10 minutes of the second half and Merchant Marine found the equalizer shortly after on senior Gavin Yingling's (Salisbury, Md.) tally in the 57th minute. Junior Jon Tarbox (Gettysburg, Pa.) sent a through ball from the top of the box down to Yingling, who fired a shot into the top left corner of the goal to tie things up at 1-1.
Fredonia outshot the Mariners, 8-5, in the second half, though the Mariners had three shots on goal to the Blue Devils two. Two of USMMA's shots on goal came in the final three minutes of regulation, but both junior Alex Niemann's (Valatie, N.Y.) and Tarbox's attempts were turned away by Bari and the game would need overtime.
In the first "golden goal" period, Blue Devil senior Parker Healy sailed three shots high of the net in the 92nd, 93rd and 95th minutes. The Mariners had two shots late in the frame, as Tarbox was stopped by Bari in the 99th minute and junior Hannes Rogers (Weinheim, Germany) had a chance with just four seconds remaining, but his shot sailed wide of the net.
Just 43 seconds into the second OT period, Healy fired a shot on goal for Fredonia that was saved by Maier. Yingling responded a minute later with a high shot for the Mariners and Tarbox had the final two shots of the game in the 105th and 109th minutes, but neither team could find the game-winner.
Bari finished the day with nine saves for the Blue Devils, while Maier turned aside three shots for Merchant Marine.
"After dominating most of the play and creating a number of opportunities, we were disappointed to end up in a tie against a hard-working Fredonia team," commented Head Coach Michael Smolens. "Coach Fitzgerald, Coach Cochrane and I were pleased with the way the team battled back after falling behind and we're proud in the manner in which our guys worked to secure the tie. This was a good effort, and we hope that this experience will serve us well as the season moves ahead."
The Mariners (0-0-1) will wrap up action at the Blue Jay Invite tomorrow morning against the host Blue Jays of Johns Hopkins University (0-0-2). Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Homewood Field. Live stats and a live video stream of the game are available by following this link.
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