ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The Navy women's soccer team (18-1-1, 6-0-1 PL) claimed the outright Patriot League Regular Season championship with a 1-0 victory over Bucknell (10-9-0, 3-4-0 PL) on Saturday afternoon at Glenn Warner Soccer Facility. Navy will be the top seed and host of next weekend's four-team Patriot League Tournament. The league semifinals will be Friday, November 2 and the championship game will be Sunday, November 4.
No. 1 Navy will host No. 4 Lehigh and No. 2 Colgate will take on No. 3 American.
Freshman Kaylie Davidson (Oceanside, Calif.) netted the game-winning goal and junior goalkeeper Elizabeth Hoerner (Lititz, Pa.) earned the shutout on Saturday as Navy remained unbeaten in its last 19 games (18-0-1). Navy's 18 wins are the second most in a single season in program history.
"We played well," head coach Carin Gabarra said. "We possessed a lot. We kept the ball. We took care of it. We moved forward in numbers and created a lot of dangerous chances. We got a goal by half and that was something we wanted to do. We were solid defensively. [Bucknell] had a lot of heart and lot of fight and they came after us."
This is the fourth time in program history that Navy has gone unbeaten (6-0-1) during the Patriot League portion of its schedule and its league winning percentage .929 is the best in school history.
Davidson's goal in the 44th minute provided the difference. The freshman midfielder dribbled the ball in on the right side, made a nice cutback move to create space on her defender and took a left-footed shot from 15 yards out that clipped the cross bar on the far side of the goal and dropped into the corner of the net.
Davidson leads the team with three goals during conference play and is third on the team with seven goals overall. Davidson also netted the game-winning goal in overtime in Navy's 1-0 victory over Lehigh on October 7.
Hoerner made four saves in the first half, including two back-to-back in the 22nd minute and added two more saves in the second for six overall. Hoerner lowered her goals-against average to 0.55 in Patriot League play.
Junior forward Paloma Perez (Mobile, Ala.) took a team-high five shots and Davidson and sophomore forward Morgan Dankanich (Glenmoore, Pa.) had four shots each. All four of Davidson's shots were on goal.
Bucknell goalkeeper Sandita McDermott made 11 saves and Courtney Nelson took a team-high five shots, with three being on goal.
Navy outshot Bucknell, 23-14, and held a 12-6 edge in shots on goal. Navy outshot Bucknell, 15-5, in the decisive first half. Navy also led in corner kicks, 6-3.
Navy will host the Patriot League Tournament for the fourth time next weekend. The semifinals will be on Friday at 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm and the championship game will be Sunday at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youth and can be purchased on NavySports.com. It has not yet been determined which game time Navy will play on Friday.
"It's exciting [to host] because obviously there is no travel and you get more sleep and you're more comfortable," said Gabarra. "You're in more of a routine and you are at your home field with your home fans and hopefully we'll fill the stands up."