Lafayette Rallies Late to Defeat Navy in Men’s Soccer, 3-2
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Lafayette sophomore forward Evan Vare scored a hat trick in a 3-2 come-from-behind victory over the Navy men’s soccer team on Wednesday evening at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.
Navy (2-11-2, 0-5-2 PL) led Lafayette (4-12-0, 3-4-0 PL), 2-1, with less than 12 minutes left in the match, however, Lafayette took advantage of a Navy foul in the Mids’ own penalty area, as Vare converted a penalty kick in the 79th minute. Four minutes later, Vare scored his third goal of the game to complete the improbable comeback.
Navy freshman midfielder Wyatt Millard opened the game’s scoring in seventh minute, which was the earliest the Mids have netted a goal all season. Junior TJ Powers served a cross from the right side that Millard headed right off the cross bar. The rebound came right back to Millard, who made his move to head the ball again, and this time it found its way to the right side of the goal for his second tally of the season.
Eight minutes later, Vare scored his first goal of the game off a corner kick serve from Andrew Venezia to even the match at 1-1.
Navy tallied its second goal late in the first half when senior Daniel Zaremba netted his team-leading fourth goal of the season. Freshman Jarvian Wigfall helped set up the goal by leading Zaremba down the middle of the field with a well-placed pass. Zaremba took the ball and set up his defender, and then ripped a left-footed shot from 18 yards out that put Navy ahead in the 32nd minute.
Navy continued to hold its 2-1 lead until the 79th minute when a Navy defender was whistled for a foul in the penalty box, which led to a penalty kick opportunity for Lafayette. Vare converted the penalty kick for this second tally of the game.
Just four minutes later in the 83rd minute, Martin Ssessanga played a ball to Vare at the top of the box, where Vare quickly made a cut-back move and then shot from 18 yards out for the go-ahead tally. Vare raised his season goal total to six after Wednesday’s hat trick.
Navy freshman forward Phillip Gustafson was able to get two shots off after Lafayette took the lead, but the Mids could not score the equalizing goal.
“That was one of the better games we’ve played all year,” said Navy head coach Tim O’Donohue. “We dominated possession, we were quick on the attack and we generated good chances. That’s the style we want to play. However, Lafayette was dangerous on set pieces and counter-attacks, and we gave up some goals we shouldn’t have. But we played some really good stuff tonight.”
Navy senior goalkeeper Mac Burke made seven saves in the match. Burke moved into fourth place on Navy’s career goalkeeper minutes played chart with 3,463.
Lafayette goalkeeper Brad Seeber made one save on Wednesday.
Lafayette held a slim 16-14 edge in total shots, but held a 10-3 advantage in shots on goal. Corner kicks were even at 3-3.
Navy entered Wednesday’s game on a five-match winning streak against Lafayette. Navy currently leads the all-time series against the Leopards, 21-17-4.
Navy’s loss on Wednesday, coupled with the other results from around the league, has eliminated Navy from Patriot League playoff contention.
Navy will next play at Colgate on Sunday at 1:00 PM. The Mids will close the 2017 season by hosting Bucknell on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 1:00 PM.