CAMDEN, N.J. (Oct. 9, 2016) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's soccer team picked up an impressive win over perennial DIII powerhouse Rutgers-Camden, 1-0, in non-conference action on Sunday down at the Scarlet Raptors' Community Park. The victory improves the Mariners' record to 7-4-2 on the season, while Rutgers-Camden falls to 7-3-3.
Senior Gavin Yingling (Salisbury, Md.) tallied the only goal of the game in the 21st minute. Sophomore Neil Painter (New Cumberland, Pa.) sent a service pass to junior Jon Tarbox (Gettysburg, Pa.) and Tarbox one-timed the ball to freshman Austin Flores (Wichita, Kan.), who headed a shot that was saved, but the ball deflected off the crossbar right to Yingling, who headed it in for his 10th goal of the year.
Play was fairly even throughout the game until the final 10 minutes. Rutgers-Camden outshot USMMA by only two shots, 12-10. The Scarlet Raptors also had more shots on goal on the day with five to the Mariners' three. The hosts came on strong late in the game to try and find the equalizer, as they recorded the final five shots of the game, but two sailed high, two were saved and one was blocked.
Senior goalkeeper Cory Maier (Hampton, Va.) recorded five saves for his seventh shutout of the year (three full and four combined). For Rutgers-Camden, sophomore James Brett played the first half and made one save on two shots on goal. He was replaced by junior Kellen Groover for the second half, who also made one save for the Scarlet Raptors.
The defensive backfield of Painter, senior Connor Culiver (Scottsdale, Ariz.), junior Brian Nickel (North Canton, Ohio) and sophomore Sam Ney (Vicenza, Italy) was very strong throughout the game to help keep Rutgers-Camden off the scoreboard.
The last time these two teams met was in the first round of the 2011 NCAA Tournament, when the Scarlet Raptors defeated the Mariners, 4-2, en route to an appearance in the Elite Eight. Rutgers-Camden has had great success since then, making four of the last five NCAA Tournaments and finishing as the National Runner-Up in 2013.
"Coach Fitzgerald, Coach Cochrane and I are very pleased with today's match against a perennial national power," commented head coach Michael Smolens. "We played very well from the kickoff, creating some good early chances and cashing in on one of them. Under pressure in the second half, our back four and Cory Maier did a terrific job of holding them at bay and keeping our one goal lead. It was a terrific test for our guys and we hope our strong play continues this week as we have two important conference matches."
The Mariners return to the pitch this Wednesday night, Oct. 12, when they host Skyline Conference opponent Mount St. Vincent. Opening whistle is set for 7:45 p.m. at Brooks Stadium. Live stats and a live video feed of the game – with play-by-play by USMMA Sports Network's own John Kelly Jr. – will be available with links on the USMMA Men's Soccer Schedule Page.
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