Nov. 5, 2011
HAMILTON, N.Y. -- Knowing it needed a win or tie to likely advance to the Patriot League Tournament, the Navy men's soccer team drew with Colgate, 0-0, on Saturday afternoon at Van Doren Field in Hamilton, N.Y. The tie improved Navy's record to 7-7-4 overall and to 3-2-2 in the Patriot League, good for 11 league points. Colgate fell to 10-4-5 overall and 4-1-2 in the league standings.
"While it would have been nice to get a win, I thought we competed well and played very even with a very good team at a tough place to play," said Navy head coach Dave Brandt, who reaches the Patriot League Tournament in his third year at Navy.
The Midshipmen actually tied for fourth with Lafayette in the league standings, but held the tiebreaker with the Leopards. The two teams played to a 0-0 tie in the league opener on Sept. 24, but Navy advances thanks to its 2-1 win over regular-season league champion and top-seeded American on Oct. 22.
Navy ended the regular season unbeaten in its last four games (3-0-1).
The two teams played a defensive chess match in the opening 45 minutes, as neither team recorded a shot on goal and just four total shots, two by each team, were attempted.
The two teams then started attacking in the second half, with both teams threatening to break through. In the 52nd minute, Navy's Alex Wilson (So. unleashed a shot that beat the Colgate keeper, but clanged off the crossbar to keep the game scoreless.
In the game's 79th minute, Colgate had a chance, but freshman Michael Lemonick (Wynnewood, Pa.) chested down a Colgate shot destined for the goal.
Lastly, in the final minute of regulation, freshman Joseph Greenspan (Westfield, N.J.) had a great look at the goal, but sent a shot from 16 yards out just over the crossbar to send the game into overtime.
Colgate outshot the Midshipmen, 12-9, for the contest and had seven corner kicks to Navy's one. The Raiders were whistled for 11 fouls to Navy's 14.
Max Renaldo (Jr. / Tampa, Fla.) recorded five saves, including two spectacular stops late in the second half, to keep the game scoreless. The blanking was his first career shutout.
"Max made two very good stops in about the 75th minute to really save us," said Brandt. "We had kind of lost our way and our initiative, so those stops kept us in the game."
Navy will now play top-seeded American in Washington, D.C., next Friday at 11:00 am. The Midshipmen defeated the Eagles, 2-1, on Oct. 22. The other semifinal matchup pits second-seeded Colgate against third-seeded Lehigh at 2:00 pm. The Midshipmen went 1-1-1 against the other three teams in the field, drawing with Colgate today and falling to Lehigh, 2-0, on Oct. 14.
"It has been a slow, steady progression the last three years, but this is a good step forward for our program," said Brandt. "It gives us a chance to play another week and to improve and hopefully make some noise next weekend. All of the results we needed today were going against us, but we did what we needed to do and earned that crucial point. We are looking forward to playing next weekend."
The Patriot League Tournament appearance will be Navy's eighth trip to the tournament. The Mids advanced in 1991, 1992, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1999 and 2001. The Midshipmen have reached the finals three times (1995, 1996 and 1999), but have never won the league's tournament title.
Navy last reached the NCAA Tournament in 1988.
# GO NAVY #