VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (March 6, 2019) – The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy men's lacrosse team downed Southern Virginia University, 24-16, on Wednesday afternoon at the Virginia Beach Sportsplex in the Mariners' final game of their spring break road-trip. In victory, USMMA improves to 2-0, while the Knights drop to an even 3-3.
Junior Liam Connors (Bellmore, N.Y.) registered a game-high nine points with seven goals and two assists, while senior Jack Renard (San Clemente, Calif.) added seven points on four goals and three assists. Juniors Nick Roros (Northport, N.Y.) and Mike Morsberger (Catonsville, Md.) both had four points each, as Roros scored four times and Morsberger had a hat trick and one assist.
Senior Michael Rodriguez (Coronado, Calif.) also found the back of the net three times, while classmate Lane Schmidt (North East, Md.) scored twice. Five other Mariners recorded one point apiece, sophomore Tristan Kelehan (Elkridge, Md.) with a goal and juniors Jackson Misner (Tampa, Fla.), Nick Maurer (Longmeadow, Mass.) and John Maudsley (Wilton, Conn.) along with sophomore Zach Venanzi (Jupiter, Fla.) all chipped in with an assist.
Junior Kyle Buser (Babylon, N.Y.) won 27-of-35 faceoffs on the day and picked up 21 groundballs to lead all players. Defensively, freshman Jason Aiello (Northport, N.Y.) caused a team-best three turnovers.
Sophomore Shannon Byrne II (Severna Park, Md.) earned the victory in goal after playing the first half and making seven saves. Junior Zac Tilley (Carolina Beach, N.C.) played the final 30 minutes in net and made five saves.
The Mariners had a 6-4 lead after a back-and-forth opening quarter. They scored six of the first seven goals in the second quarter to take a 12-5 advantage at 7:42, and held a 13-6 lead into the halftime break.
The USMMA lead reached nine goals, 17-8, at 6:58 of the third quarter, but Southern Virginia ended the period with four-straight to pull within five, 17-12, after 45 minutes. The Mariners scored the first three goals of the final quarter, but the Knights fought back to within six goals twice. That was the closest the Merchant Marine defense would allow SVU, though, as the Mariners scored three of the game's final four goals to claim the victory.
For Southern Virginia, three different players all had four goals and an assist – sophomores Tennison Schmidt and Payton Kimber and freshman Chandler Wescott. Sophomore Zach Danneman and junior Shawn Lamb both had a team-high six groundballs apiece, while freshman Seth Millington led all players in the game with four caused turnovers.
Up next, the Mariners will host Western Connecticut State this Saturday, March 9, beginning at 12-noon at Brooks Stadium. Live stats and a live video feed of the game will be available with links on the USMMA Men's Lacrosse Schedule Page.
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