PURCHASE, N.Y. (Oct. 4, 2016) – A trio of Mariners picked up their first goals of the season, as the Merchant Marine men's soccer team defeated Purchase, 3-0, on the road Tuesday night in Skyline Conference action. The victory improves the Mariners' record to 5-4-2 (5-1 Skyline), while the Panthers fall to 0-10-1 (0-5-1 Skyline) in defeat.
Sophomore Michael Montesclaros (Evans, Ga.) opened the scoring in the 35th minute when he received a short pass from freshman Matt McCurnin (Newark, Del.), turned and fired a shot into the far corner for his first collegiate goal. USMMA outshot Purchase, 15-2, in the opening half and forced the Panthers' junior keeper Thomas Ogrodnik to make six saves, while senior Cory Maier (Hampton, Va.) faced no shots on goal in the opening 45 minutes.
In the second half, the Mariners scored goals just six minutes apart in the 61st and 67th minutes to open the game up. Junior Hannes Rogers (Weinheim, Germany) converted a penalty kick to double the Merchant Marine lead to 2-0 before senior Michael Heckmuller (Cypress, Calif.) tallied his first of the year off an assist by Skyline assist-leader junior Jon Tarbox (Gettysburg, Pa.). It was Tarbox's seventh assist of the season.
Ogrodnik made 11 saves total for Purchase in the 90 minutes. Maier was replaced by junior Nolan Smith (Stafford, Va.) in the 73rd minute and Smith made two saves in the final 17-plus minutes to preserve the combined shutout with Maier. The squad's defense was very strong once again, leading to the Mariners' fifth shutout of the season.
"Coach Fitzgerald, Coach Cochrane and I were pleased with the team getting back on track tonight," said head coach Michael Smolens. "Despite not being able to find the net early, we received a bit of a lift from our bench, which helped spur us to victory. Getting three goals from three different players scoring their first of the year is a good sign, and hopefully that leads to more tallies in the future. Our defense was again solid and we feel good about the improvement we have made in the back."
This Saturday, Oct. 8, Merchant Marine will play Sarah Lawrence in a Skyline Conference "road game" that will be played at the Mariners' Brooks Stadium. Live stats and a live video feed of the game will be available with links on the USMMA Men's Soccer Schedule Page.
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Mariners Shut Out Purchase, 3-0, For Road Skyline Victory