Kings Point soccer concluded their season last week after a mildly successful run in the NCAA Tournament. On Wednesday, United States Merchant Marine Academy men's soccer team defeated York, 2-0, after harassing the Cardinal defense with tremendous pressure and overworking the York net minder. The Mariners outshot the Cardinals, 42-6, in the opening round of the NCAA Division III Tournament. The victory was the Academy's first-ever win in the NCAA Tournament in any team sport in eight tries.
Kings Point soccer won the first ever NCAA game for the Mariners last week.
Sophomore Ryan Brune (Woodbridge, VA) opened the scoring at 33:45. Sophomore Will Corrigan (East Williston, NY) gave Brune a nice feed through the middle. Brune then played the ball to his left and fired a missile into the top right corner for his fifth goal of the 2000 campaign. In the 65th minute, Kings Point kicked in their second strike when 2000 Skyline Conference Player of the Year, sophomore Seamus Hunt (Collegeville, PA), scored off a corner kick by senior captain Justin Facciolo (Tampa, FL). The score was Hunt's first career collegiate goal in 37 games. Senior captain Kyle Miller (Denton, TX) snagged three saves en route to his ninth complete shutout. It was Kings Point's 15th shutout of the season. Freshman keeper Stephane Koutod grabbed 22 saves for the Cardinals in the loss.
On Saturday, the Mariners unforgettable season came to a close. The Kings Point (18-3) soccer team were overachievers in many regards this season. This mighty group of midshipmen battled hard every match and posted one of the nation's top statistical defenses. In the Metro Regional semifinal of the NCAA Division III Tournament, Rowan, the fifth ranked team in the country, ended the Mariners cinderella run with a 2-0 victory.
Despite the loss, Kings Point had one of its better performances of the season. Outsized at every position, the Mariners played the Profs ball for ball and showed flashes of a potent attack that outscored the opposition 62-11 this season. Kings Point became the first team this year to outshoot the Profs of Rowan. The tremendous effort unfortunately was not quite enough as Rowan's size and physical play kept the Mariners offense off the board.
Rowan opened the scoring in the 12th minute off of an indirect penalty kick from 20 yards out. The goal was the only downspot for an otherwise impressive showing for the Mariners. Kings Point dominated possession and kept the ball in the Blue and Gray attack zone. The Mariners were down, 1-0, after 45 minutes, but they certainly weren't out.
The Mariners began fast in the second half, posting four shots on goal in the first six minutes. Kings Point had a great scoring chance in the 48th minute, but a great defensive play by a Rowan defender saved the Profs lead and the Rowan shutout bid. In the 55th minute, Kings Point had their best opportunity of the night when Jimmy Kirk (East Islip, NY) fed a nice through ball to Kevin Piotrowski (Londonderry, NH). Piotrowski took a hard shot on net, but Dan McGinn, the Rowan net minder, tipped the ball over the goal on a superb defensive effort. At the 60th minute, Rowan added their second tally off a header by David Spetter. It was Rowan's first shot on goal in the half. The match went back and forth the remaining 30 minutes, and the Mariners, despite some chances, were denied from putting a score in the Rowan net. Kings Point would outshoot Rowan, 9-4, in the game's second frame.
"Rowan is a tremendous team. The guys played with a ton of heart, and left everything on the field," noted Assistant Coach Mike Maire.
Senior Kyle Miller (Denton, TX) made five saves in his last collegiate game. Dan McGinn snagged seven saves for Rowan. Kings Point finishes the 2000 season with the highest winning percentage in school history (.857). Their 18 wins also ties the Academy record for most wins in a year.
The Mariners were led in offense this year by midfielders Stephen Nation (Apopka, FL) and Piotrowski, who totalled 28 and 27 points respectively. Piotrowski led Kings Point with 11 goals, while Nation had a team-high 10 assists. Kyle Miller concluded his collegiate career with a brilliant senior season. Miller had nine complete shutouts and carried a .55 goals against average.