Oct. 26, 2013
WORCESTER, Mass. -
Freshman Alex Evans (Lansdale, Pa.) netted the game-winning goal in overtime in Navy's 1-0 win at Holy Cross (6-6-1, 4-2-0 PL) on Saturday evening at Smith Stadium. With the win, Navy improves to 6-0-0 in Patriot League play and clinches a berth in the Patriot League Tournament.
"It was a game of two halves tonight," head coach Dave Brandt said. "The first half was frustrating as Holy Cross had the better of us, but we made some adjustments at halftime and that brought us back into the game. The guys were able to battle through and that is very important, especially when you are on the road."
Navy (10-3-2) has won nine straight games, which is the second-longest active streak in the nation behind only No. 8 Coastal Carolina (11 games). The nine-game winning streak is Navy's longest streak in 47 years, since the team won nine in a row in 1966.
Navy earned its seventh shutout of the season on Saturday and senior goalkeeper Gavin Snyder (Severna Park, Md.) made five saves to improve to 9-0-0. Snyder improves his season goals-against average to 0.22 and his save percentage to .943. He leads the nation in both categories.
Evans' goal was set up by senior Martin Sanchez (Salisbury, Md.), who was able to possess the ball and beat his man to serve a floating ball from 25 yards out. Evans got in behind the defense to receive the ball and then shot to the upper middle part of the goal from six yards. Evans scored on 95:33 to end the game with a `golden goal' for his third tally of the season.
Sanchez earned his seventh assist of the season and moves into a tie for eighth place on Navy's single-season assist chart.
Sanchez had a good look in the 85th minute to score, but his shot sailed just wide. Sophomore forward Jamie Dubyoski
(Catonsville, Md.) nearly scored in the 90th minute but Holy Cross was able to clear the ball off the line.
Holy Cross held a 14-8 edge in shots, but each team registered five shots on goal. Navy led in corner kicks, 7-4.
Navy is 2-1-2 in overtime games this season.
With 18 points, Navy has assured itself of at least a top-three seed for the Patriot League Tournament.
Army and Navy remain in a tie for first place in the conference with matching 6-0-0 records and both schools clinched a tournament berth on Saturday. They will face each other in the Army-Navy Cup II in the season finale at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. on Nov. 8.
"This team has felt capable of this for several years," said Brandt. "But we know the job isn't done yet."
Navy has three games left in conference play and will next host Lehigh on Wednesday at 7:00 PM.