Navy Runs Unbeaten Streak to Five With 3-1 Win Over Pitt
Sept. 25, 2012
PITTSBURGH, Pa. -- The Navy men's soccer team rallied from a 1-0 early deficit with three goals by three different players in knocking off Big East Conference member Pittsburgh on Tuesday night. The win moves Navy's record to 5-2-1 overall while Pitt falls to 6-2-2 overall.
Navy ran its unbeaten streak to five games, the longest streak for the program since a pair of six-game stretches in 2001. Navy's four-game winning streak equals the longest for the program since winning eight straight games during the 2000 season. The Mids also won four straight games during the first four games of the 2010 season.
During Navy's four-game winning streak, the Midshipmen have outscored their opponents, 14-4, including an 11-2 margin in the first half of those games.
Pittsburgh scored on its first shot of the game in the 10th minute, but Navy controlled the rest of the first half, outshooting the Panthers, 13-2, to grab a 2-1 halftime lead.
"We gave up a goal off a set piece early on that I felt we shouldn't have, but I was really proud of the way we responded," said Navy head coach Dave Brandt. "It was nice to regain the lead before the half. The goals were coming, so it was just a good response by us."
Navy tied the game at 1-1 on Alex Wilson's (Jr. / Phoenix, Ariz.) third goal of the season. Joseph Greenspan (So. / Westfield, N.J.) slid a pass to Wilson on the right wing, where he rifled a shot into the far corner to tie the game at 1-1 in the 22nd minute.
For the second consecutive game, the Midshipmen scored a big goal right before halftime as Geoff Fries (So. / Broken Arrow, Okla.) took a feed from Thomas Shiiba (Fr. / Swarthmore, Pa.) and went top shelf in the 43rd minute for his first goal of the season and a 2-1 halftime advantage.
Shiiba also assisted on Derek Vogel's (Fr. / Long Beach, Calif.) goal right before halftime of Saturday's 4-2 win over Lafayette. Vogel's goal gave the Mids a 3-1 lead just moments after Lafayette had cut the lead to 2-1.
The Midshipmen then scored an insurance goal when senior team captain Giiehti Christian (Dover, Del.), who was a defender during his career prior to this year, scored his first career goal in the 79th minute. Shiiba fired a shot that was saved by Pitt goalkeeper Lee Johnston, but rebounded directly to Christian, who easily scored for a 3-1 advantage. Shiiba was credited with his second assist of the night on Christian's tally, and now has three assists in the last two games.
"I think the freshmen are starting to get comfortable and get adjusted to the college game and are really starting to play well," said Brandt.
"Giiehti has been playing well and earned that goal," added Brandt. "It was nice to see him score and get rewarded for his effort."
The Midshipmen outshot the Panthers, 21-7, including 13-2 in the first half. Navy had six corner kicks to Pittsburgh's four and junior goalkeeper Gavin Snyder (Severna Park, Md.) was credited with one save, coming in the 89th minute, to earn the victory. Johnston made eight saves in goal for the Panthers.
Navy heads to Chester, Pa., and picturesque PPL Park to face Army in the first Army-Navy Cup on Sunday, Sept. 30, beginning at 2:00 PM. For tickets, call 1-800-298-4200.
# GO NAVY #