TOWSON, Md. (March 14, 2015) – Despite blowing a 7-2 third quarter lead on the road, the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's lacrosse team defeated Goucher College on Saturday afternoon in the Landmark Conference opener, 8-7, thanks to a goal by senior Troy Smith (Deer Park, Texas) with just nine seconds remaining in regulation time. The Mariners improve to 2-2 (1-0 Landmark) on the season, while the Gophers fall to 5-3 (0-1 Landmark).
Freshman Nick Treon (Danville, Pa.) continued his torrid start to the season by leading the Mariners with three points (two goals and one assist). Smith scored twice in the game, including the game-winner, and senior Geoff Harty (Chicago, Ill.) also found the back of the net twice. Sophomore Chris Whitenack (East Meadow, N.Y.) tallied the first goal of the game and picked up an assist, while freshman Tucker Dodson (Charleston, S.C.) also added a goal. Senior Ray Waters (Sayville, N.Y.) and junior Rob Tirrito (Centerport, N.Y.) both had one assist apiece.
Whitenack was excellent from the faceoff-X, winning 15 of the 19 draws he took and picking up a game-high nine groundballs. Waters recorded five GBs, while senior Kyle Sammis (Dix Hills, N.Y.) had four. Junior Gus Sawicki (Louisville, Colo.) registered a team-high two caused turnovers.
Senior Alex Peyreigne (Weston, Conn.) made eight saves to claim his second victory of the season. He also picked up three groundballs.
The Mariners scored the first five goals of the game, four coming in the opening quarter by Whitenack, Harty (assisted by Treon), Harty again (assisted by Whitenack) and Treon unassisted. Dodson scored the first goal of the second quarter off a pass by Tirrito to give Merchant Marine a 5-0 lead. Goucher found the back of the net two straight times to cut the lead to 5-2, but Treon tallied his second of the game with just three seconds remaining in the second quarter to put the Mariners ahead 6-2 going into the halftime break.
Smith scored his first goal of the game at 9:23 of the third quarter to put USMMA up, 7-2, but the Gophers charged back to tie the score up with five straight, all in the third. The only goal of the final quarter came from the stick of Smith with just nine seconds to go. The Mariners gained possession with 1:16 to play after a failed clear by Goucher. Sammis picked up the groundball and Smith rattled off a shot with 29 seconds remaining that went wide. The Gophers called a timeout right after to set up their defensive scheme, but Smith was able to score the game-winner in the final seconds.
Merchant Marine returns home next Saturday, March 21, with a Landmark Conference tilt against Catholic. Game time is scheduled for 12-noon at Brooks Stadium.
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