KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Sept. 28, 2016) – The USMMA men's soccer team benefited from a 19th minute own goal to defeat Old Westbury on Wednesday night in Skyline Conference action at Brooks Stadium. The victory improves the Mariners' record to 4-3-2 (4-0 Skyline), while the visiting Panthers fall to 3-3-4 (1-1-1 Skyline) in defeat.
The own goal came off of the foot of Old Westbury junior defender Jose Gomez, after he went to firmly pass the ball back to his keeper, sophomore Mike Warren. Warren ran up to play the ball, and did make contact with it, but it snuck right under his foot and trickled into the net, barely making it over the goal line before the nearest defender made it.
Other than that goal, the Panthers had more chances in the game than the Mariners, but senior keeper Cory Maier (Hampton, Va.) stood tall, as he made four saves on the night for his fourth shutout of the season (two full and two combined). He had help on one shot, though, as classmate Gavin Yingling (Salisbury, Md.) made a stop down low for a team save in the 77th minute to keep Old Westbury off the board.
The strong defensive play of senior Connor Culiver (Scottsdale, Ariz.), junior Brian Nickel (North Canton, Ohio), and sophomores Neil Painter (New Cumberland, Pa.) and Sam Ney (Vicenza, Italy) contributed greatly to the shutout victory as well.
The Panthers outshot Merchant Marine, 22-14, over the 90 minutes and forced eight corner kicks to the Mariners' four. Their speed and aggressiveness caught up to them, however, as they committed a total of 17 fouls on the night, while USMMA had just seven.
Junior Jon Tarbox (Gettysburg, Pa.) led the Mariners with five shots in the game – three of them on goal – and senior David Burkhardt (Cutchogue, N.Y.) had two. Warren finished the night with six saves in the losing effort for Old Westbury.
"It was a battle under tough conditions and we are proud of the way our team fought, said Head Coach Michael Smolens. "We would have liked to have gotten a second goal, but we are pleased with the way we performed defensively in keeping a dangerous Old Westbury team off the scoreboard."
Up next, the Mariners travel out to Patchogue, N.Y., out in Suffolk County to take on Skyline Conference opponent St. Joseph's of Long Island this Saturday, Oct. 1. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. at the Golden Eagles' Danzi Stadium. Live stats for the game can be found by following this link.
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