Senior Day Photo Gallery
KINGS POINT, N.Y. (Oct. 22, 2016) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Mariners are the 2016 Skyline Conference Men's Soccer Regular Season Champions! USMMA defeated visiting and conference-leading Mount St. Mary College on Saturday by the final score of 3-0 at Brooks Stadium. The victory improves the Mariners' record to 11-4-2 (10-1 Skyline), while the Knights fall to 10-5-1 (9-1 Skyline) in defeat.
Senior Gavin Yingling (Salisbury, Md.) recorded a hat trick for the Mariners, as he now has a conference-best 17 goals on the year. Classmate Cory Maier (Hampton, Va.) earned his eighth shutout of the season (four solo and four combined) after making one save over the 90 minutes.
Sophomore Michael Montesclaros (Evans, Ga.) and senior David Burkhardt (Cutchogue, N.Y.) assisted on Yingling's first goal in the 10th minute. In the 22nd minute, Yingling doubled the Mariner lead with his second tally off a lead pass by senior Tim Hughes (Ballston Lake, N.Y.). His third goal came after receiving a pass from classmate Michael Heckmuller (Cypress, Calif.).
Merchant Marine out-shot the Knights, 13-6, over the course of the game. Senior keeper Tyler Biscone made two saves for Mount St. Mary in the losing effort. Junior Eric Hayes had the Knights' only shot on goal of the day.
The Mariners are done with the regular season and have clinched the #1 seed and home-field advantage throughout the Skyline Tournament. The remainder of the seeds for the tourney will be determined after the final week of rest of the teams' regular season this coming week. The quarterfinals will take place next Saturday, Oct. 29, with the #3 seed hosting the #6 seed and the #4 seed hosting the #5 seed. The winner of the #4 seed versus the #5 seed matchup will travel to Kings Point for the semifinals on Wednesday, Nov. 2.
"Coach Fitzgerald, Coach Cochrane and I are very proud of our team for their terrific effort today," said head coach Michael Smolens. "Our seniors have shown the way all season and they certainly finished their regular season careers on a high note. We look forward to preparing for the Skyline Tournament and we know that we will need strong efforts to take home a championship."
More information on the full slate of Skyline Tournament games will be available in the coming week on www.USMMASports.com.
Prior to the game, the Mariners held a special Senior Day Ceremony for their seven graduating seniors. See below for the full transcript from the ceremony.
The soccer class of 2017 has done a fine job carrying on the USMMA soccer tradition. Our seven seniors have added a great deal to the Academy both on and off the field in their years at the Academy. The coaches are very proud of all they have accomplished here, and are confident they will continue to succeed after they leave Kings Point.
Brennan Becker: A solid, stay at home defender, Brennan has been a major factor in shutting down Mariner opponents since his arrival on campus. Brennan has worked hard to battle back from injuries to remain an effective player and help the team achieve success.
David Burkhardt: David has been an important player for the Mariners both in their attack and defending. He has continued to improve in his time at the Academy and has played a large part in some very important wins in his career here.
Connor Culiver: Connor's effort has earned him a large role with the Mariners since his arrival through Vickery Gate. A standout defender, Connor is active in holding down our opponents as well as creating attacks for him and his teammates.
Michael Heckmuller: A two-way midfielder, Mike has been a key player for the Mariner 11 in his four years at the Academy. A terrific team player, Mike has showed he is willing to do anything it takes to help the team succeed.
Tim Hughes: A quiet leader on and off the field, Tim is an outstanding student/athlete who has seen his role on the team grow since his arrival on campus. A dynamic midfielder, Tim has worked extremely hard to come back from a broken arm early this season to be back in the line-up and stay the major factor we know he can be.
Cory Maier: A top student/athlete, Cory has been a three-year starter as a goalkeeper for the Mariners. A vocal captain, Cory is a leader of the defense and has come up big on numerous occasions for the Blue and Gray.
Gavin Yingling: Gavin is one of the most highly decorated soccer players to play at the Academy. A captain, Gavin has scored many big goals for the Mariners, and we hope he isn't done yet.
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