NEW LONDON, Conn.--Coast Guard senior captain Greg Kennerley netted two second half goals as Coast Guard beat archrival Merchant Marine for the first time since 1999 with a 3-1 win in front of a capacity crowd in the home opener.
On a day when the Coast Guard men's soccer program honored LTJG Thomas Cameron by making a tradition to have the #12 worn by a CG player that embodies what Thomas stood for, the recipient of the #12 was Kennerley making it an extra special day for the senior co-captain.
" It was appropriate that today, Kennerley stepped up, scored goals and led the team to victory. It is what senior captains should do at CGA, and today, Greg came up huge for us," said Coast Guard head coach Chris Parsons. "I am so proud of his and the team's effort today. These are days that will not be forgotten for a long time by everyone associated with the program."
Coast Guard, which was 0-11-1 in the last 12 meetings against Merchant Marine, improves to 2-1 on the season while the Mariners drop to 2-2 on the season.
Junior midfielder Joe Bodzewski started the scoring in the first half in the 21st minute off a free kick into the box that Bobby Copeland headed back across the face of goal for Bodzewski to head into the net.
The Mariners tied up the game in the 29th minute after Coast Guard was charged with an own goal as Merchant Marine drove a line drive into the box that a Bears defender inadvertently directed into his own net and the game was tied 1-1 at halftime.
Against a stiff wind to start the second half, CG came out and dominated possession. Copeland played a ball across the face of goal that Bodweski just missed finishing. A few minutes later, after cries for a penalty on Copeland went without a whistle, the ensuing service into the box saw a KP defending push sophomore John Tarzian from behind. Kennerley calmly stepped up and slotted home the penalty for a 2-1 lead in the 56th minute.
Merchant Marine pushed hard with the wind for the equalizer, but in the 74th minute, Coast Guard scored their third goal off a corner. Matthew Bogdan drove a great ball into the six yard box where Kennerley rose above the keeper and nodded into the near post.
Up 3-1, all CG had to do was see the game out. Sophomore Richie Burns made a handful of solid saves from distance, and the Bears had a great victory against their bitter rivals.
Coast Guard is back in action on Wednesday when the Bears host in town rival Connecticut College at 7 p.m.
Head Coach Chris Parsons' Post Game Comments