Us Merchant Marine vs. Mount Saint Vincent
February 20, 2008
The Game Story:
Brennan Dougherty matched a career high with six goals and also accumulated a game-high seven points to lead the United States Merchant Marine Academy lacrosse team to a convincing 22-3 victory over Mount St. Vincent in the season opener for both teams. Six freshmen, led by Zachary Gray’s hat trick, scored at least one goal in their Mariner debuts.

USMMA improved to 1-0 to start the season while Mount St. Vincent dropped to 0-1.

"It was an exciting start to our season," said Head Coach Tom Gill. "A lot of freshmen played well and we possessed some great team speed which we haven't had (in the past)."

"We had a lot of guys step up today, and the freshmen played extremely well," added sophomore Brian Flannery, who had a career outing to start the 2008 campaign.

Led by Dougherty’s six goals, 11 Mariners scored and 12 members accumulated at least one point. Robert De Pol added five points on two goals and three assists while Flannery finished with a career-high four points on two goals and two assists. The freshmen class accounted for nine goals. In addition to Gray’s hat trick, USMMA got two goals from Robert Atkinson and Michael Boidock while David Alexander, Arthur Frooks and Elias Ronstadt each scored once in their first career game as well. Defensively, USMMA only allowed the Dolphins to convert just 18 of their 38 clear attempts and forced them to commit 46 turnovers.

The Dolphins were led by Jason Reynolds’ two goals. Mike Shea added the other score for Mount St. Vincent.

USMMA got on the board first when Dougherty found the back of the net off a feed from De Pol at 14:11 to give the Mariners a 1-0 lead. Less than a minute later, Gray scored his first career goal unassisted at 13:37. Brett Daniels set up De Pol for the third Mariner goal at 9:46. On the Mariners’ final possession of the opening period in the offensive zone, Dougherty shot the ball past the Dolphins’ Tom Egan to give USMMA a 4-0 lead which the club carried over into the second stanza. The Mariners did not allow the Dolphins to get a shot off in the opening frame.

The Mariners scored three straight goals to pad their lead at 7-0 to open the second period. De Pol recorded his second assist of the game when he found Alexander for his first career goal at 14:12. Playing a man down, Dougherty completed the hat trick with a goal at 9:24. Flannery added his first goal of the season at 8:20. After Flannery’s goal Mount St. Vincent won the ensuing face-off and scored on its first shot attempt of the game. Shea was credited with the goal which was set up by Russ Holland at 8:10.

Dougherty and Flannery connected two more times to give the Mariners a 9-1 lead past the midway point of the second period. Flannery scored off a feed from Dougherty at 6:40 and then returned the favor by setting his teammate at 5:51. After Reynolds made it 9-2 at 5:36, the Mariners began a streak of scoring eight unanswered goals by netting three in a row before the break. Atkinson accumulated his first career point when he set up Dougherty’s fifth goal of the game at 4:41. Gray completed the hat trick in his first career game by scoring two straight goals before halftime when he was set up by Flannery at 4:21 and found the back of the net on his own with a one-man advantage at 1:07. USMMA carried a commanding 12-2 lead into the locker room and only allowed .the Dolphins to get four shots off.

USMMA came into the second half with a vengeance and scored five straight goals to cap off a streak of eight unanswered. The five scores came from five different players. De Pol started things up by netting an unassisted goal at 14:10. It was the third straight period that the Mariners scored a goal in the opening minute of play. Playing a man up, Ryan Merritt found the back of the net for the first time this season at 12:24. Dougherty matched a career high when he scored his sixth goal at 11:33 off a feed from De Pol.

Frooks then scored his first career goal at 7:40 and then set up classmate Atkinson’s first career tally at 4:02 to give USMMA a 17-2 advantage. Playing a man up, Reynolds scored the final goal of the period at 1:18 to make it 17-3.

The Mariners did all of the scoring in the fourth period. Sophomore Matt Godsell started things off with his first career goal at 6:34. Boidock netted his first two career goals at 6:08 and 3:37. Atkinson scored his second goal of the game at 2:52 and Ronstadt added his first career goal with 22 seconds left. USMMA ran away with a 22-3 win.

Senior Robert Boyd got the start and was credited with the win after allowing just two goals in 30 minutes. He was relieved by Keegan Boyle, who allowed one goal in almost 24 minutes of action. Scott Bridge made his Mariner debut at the end of the fourth quarter and made two saves on two chances.

"We now have to continue to work hard in practice to prepare for our upcoming opponent," added Flannery.

The Mariners will play their first of three straight road games against Centennial Conference opponents when they travel to visit Franklin & Marshall on Sunday, March 2. Game time is slated for 12 p.m.