First-Place Mids Earn 10th Straight Win by Defeating Lehigh
Oct. 30, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md - The Navy men's soccer team (11-3-2, 7-0-0 PL) extended the nation's longest active winning streak to 10 games by outlasting Lehigh (2-12-1, 1-6-0 PL), 2-1 on Wednesday evening at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.
With the win, Navy (21 points) moves into sole possession of first place in the Patriot League with two games remaining. Army (18 points) is in second place and Holy Cross (15 points) is in third. Navy, Army and Holy Cross have all clinched postseason tournament berths.
Navy senior defenseman Nick Dubee (Carolina, R.I.) scored in the 21st minute and Navy held on to the lead until the 84th minute when Lehigh's Jamie Luchini evened the game at 1-1. However, Navy kept attacking and scored on an own goal just 1:16 after Luchini's strike to retake the lead at 2-1, a lead Navy would not relinquish.
"It was another key Patriot League win," said head coach Dave Brandt. "It's tough to play a mid-week game for both teams and I'm proud of the guys for hanging in there. I'm sorry to give up the late goal but obviously to get one back quickly was key."
Dubee's early goal was set up when he played a ball to sophomore forward Thomas Shiiba (Swarthmore, Pa.) who get deep on the left side and sent a cross into the box where a Lehigh defender headed it away back towards the top of the box. That's where Dubee waited for the ball to come down and then struck it right-footed in between the left post and a diving goalkeeper Jacob Gottwald.
Navy had a number of opportunities in the first half with junior Grant Valenstein (Laguna Hills, Calif.) getting two good looks in the first five minutes and junior Joseph Greenspan (Westfield, N.J.) put two shots on goal in the first half. Navy outshot Lehigh in the first half, 10-6.
"I thought we were very strong out of the gates in the first half," said Brandt. "If we would have put away a couple early opportunities it would have given us a nicer cushion."
Navy didn't have the same quality of play in the second half and its best look of the frame didn't come until the 78th minute when P.J. Suess (Cincinnati, Ohio) ripped a shot on goal that Gottwald saved, one of his five on the night.
Six minutes later Lehigh got its goal when a defender sent a long pass that was flicked on with a header to Luchini who broke down the left side of the field and then snuck a shot past Navy goalkeeper Gavin Snyder (Severna Park, Md.).
Navy immediately went on the attack and just 76 seconds later put itself in a position to get another goal. Sophomore Jamie Dubyoski (Catonsville, Md.) took the ball deep to the left end line and sent a cross into the box to freshman Alex Evans (Lansdale, Pa.). Evans took a shot, but the ball started sailing wide left and was heading outside of the post, but the ball deflected off a Lehigh defender and found its way into the goal to put Navy back on top.
The Mids were able to hold on for the final five minutes to secure their 10th straight win.
Snyder made four saves in the contest to improve to 10-0-0 on the season. Snyder entered the game ranked No. 1 in the nation in both goals-against average and save percentage.
Navy outshot Lehigh, 17-11, in the game and had a 4-3 edge in corner kicks.
Navy's 10 straight wins are the most in a single season since Navy won 10 straight in 1965. That streak was part of a 25-game winning streak that dated back to the previous season and encompassed Navy's 1964 NCAA Championship.
Navy's seven Patriot League wins are a new program record. Navy's previous record for conference wins in a season was in 1991, its first year in the league, when the team went 6-1-0 and won its only Patriot League Regular Season title.
Navy will host Loyola on Saturday at 7:00 pm and will then meet Army on November 8 at PPL Park in Chester, Pa. in the regular season finale.
Patriot League Standings 1. *Navy 7-0-0 (21 pts) 2. *Army 6-1-0 (18 pts) 3. *Holy Cross 5-2-0 (15 pts) 4. Bucknell 3-3-1 (10 pts) 5. Boston U. 3-4-0 (9 pts) 6. American 2-3-2 (8 pts) 7. Lafayette 2-4-1 (7 pts) 7. Colgate 2-4-1 (7 pts) 9. Loyola 1-5-1 (4 pts) 10. Lehigh 1-6-0 (3 pts) * - Clinched PL Tournament berth