Oct. 8, 2013
WASHINGTON –Forward Morgan Dankanich, for the fourth time this season, scored the game-winning goal in the 55th minute to give Navy the 1-0 win over American on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at Reeves Field. With the win, Navy moves into sole possession of first place in the Patriot League and extends its winning streak to nine matches.
“We(American and Navy) both were fighting for first place and we knew we had to come out strong and I was happy the way we started out the game,” said head coach Carin Gabarra. “We want to play a good 90 minutes of soccer, unfortunately we have yet to string that together. Moving forward we need to work on a few things as a team to get better to get the results we are looking for.”
Senior goalkeeper Elizabeth Hoerner had her most active day on the season, recording a season-high six saves on her way to her sixth shutout of the season. Hoerner and the Navy backline extended their streak of not allowing a goal in 605:52 minutes.
After 45 minutes of scoreless play, Navy (11-2-0, 4-0-0 Patriot League) found the back of the net to break the tie. Paloma Perez grabbed possession of the ball at midfield and darted into American’s defensive third. Perez sent a volley across the field and into the box where teammate Dankanich was standing. Dankanich controlled the pass, took one step and sent laser past the Eagles’ Charlene Belanger.
“The chemistry that myself and the other forwards have been able to build over the past couple years has been a big reason why we have been able to generate good offensive opportunities,” said Dankanich on Navy’s multitude of offensive chances today. “The last two seasons we had many games where we couldn’t find a way to win until the final minutes of the game. Now, we have made a point to try and gain an advantage early in games and we were able to do that today to grab the win.”
American (5-8-0, 3-1-0 Patriot League) looked for the equalizer in the last 15 minutes of the contest. In the 78th
minute, the Eagles’ Ashley Bonner attempted a header at net, but it went high. Then the following two minutes, Bonner had two more chances on net. Her first shot was blocked by a Navy defender and the second was collected by Hoerner.
The Eagles had one last offensive opportunity in the 88th minute from a corner kick. Sara Pearlman lofted the kick in the mix of Navy and American players, but it was sent out back to midfield to end the threat.
Navy and American played the first half to a scoreless tie. The Mids led the Eagles in shots, 12-6, and were both even in corner kicks, 3-3.
American had its best offensive opportunity in the eighth minute. The Eagles’ Shaena Alfonsi dribbled the ball to the top of the 18-yard box and sent a high line drive towards the net. Mids’ goalkeeper Elizabeth Hoerner used all five-foot-ten of her height to jump up and punch the ball away.
Navy had a 12-minute offensive stretch, recording eight shots during the stretch. The Mids best look came off the foot of defender Julie Schumacher in the 23rd minute. Schumacher, from the top of the box, curled a low runner to the far post. The junior defender’s shot bounced of the post and back into play.
The Midshipmen try for their 10th straight win on Friday, Oct. 11 against Bucknell. Match is slated for 7 p.m.