Oct. 9, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. -
Junior defenseman Joseph Greenspan (Westfield, N.J.) scored the game's lone goal early in the first half as Navy (5-3-2, 2-0 PL) earned a 1-0 win over American (4-5-2, 2-1 PL) at Reeves Field on Wednesday afternoon in a key early season Patriot League battle.
"We are in a good position right now," head coach Dave Brandt said. "But we need to take it one game at a time. We've had good starts before and have not finished as well. We have a condensed schedule going forward and we'll need to continue to work to get better."
Senior goalkeeper Gavin Snyder (Severna Park, Md.) improved to 4-0 on the season while helping Navy post its fourth straight shutout. Snyder was credited with two saves and has three solo shutouts in 2013.
Despite a 10-day layoff, Navy picked up right where it let off to capture its fourth straight win and kept pace with the teams at the top of the Patriot League standings. Navy has earned wins over both American and Boston University, the two schools that were voted to finish 1-2 in the league's preseason poll.
In the 11th minute, junior Geoff Fries (Broken Arrow, Okla.) was taken down by an American defender and drew a free kick about 24 yards from the goal. Fries, senior Martin Sanchez (Salisbury, Md.) and Greenspan lined up over the ball and played a clever three-man game with Greenspan eventually stepping up to rocket the ball to the upper right corner of the net past American's diving goalkeeper.
It was Greenspan's third goal of the season and the 13th of his career. Greenspan played the full 90 minutes and tallied four shots.
American threatened to even the game just before the half, but Snyder made a diving save in the 42nd minute to allow Navy to take the 1-0 lead into the break.
American's Conor Osborne took two yellow cards in a three-minute span in the second half, which forced the Eagles to play the final 30 minutes with just 10 men.
Greenspan nearly added a second goal in the 70th minute when his header off a corner kick was deflected over the goal by AU goalkeeper Billy Knutsen.
Navy continued to apply the pressure with Sanchez hitting a good shot that was saved by Knutsen in the 80th minute.
Sophomore Jamie Dubyoski (Catonsville, Md.) got on a breakaway in the 88th minute but Knutsen made the last of his five saves.
AU frantically attacked in the game's closing minutes and received a free kick with 19 seconds left. However, the shot sailed wide right from 30 yards out.
Navy held a 12-5 advantage in shots, including an 8-2 margin in the second half.
This was Navy's first victory at American since 2006 and it was the first conference loss by AU, the defending league champion, since 2011. Navy opens conference play at 2-0-0 for the first time since 2003.
Navy will host Colgate in another important Patriot League contest on Saturday at 7:00 PM.