Oct. 30, 2011
SELINSGROVE, Pa. -
Sophomore midfielder Ashlynn Soellner's 11th minute tally propelled Navy (12-5-3, 4-2-1 PL) to a 1-0 defeat of Bucknell (5-10-1, 3-4-0 PL) on the campus of Susquehanna University at Sassafras Multi-Purpose Field Sunday afternoon.
The win clinches a berth in the Patriot League tournament for Navy, as the team closed its league slate with three straight wins after posting four points in its first four league games (1-2-1). Navy has earned the No. 3 seed and will play No. 2 Lafayette in Hamilton, N.Y. on Friday at 8:00 PM in the league semifinals. Colgate earned the No. 1 seed and will host No. 4 Army Friday night at 5:00 PM. The championship game will be at 1:00 PM Sunday.
"I felt that we deserved this result today," head coach Carin Gabarra said. "We were solid in the back and we limited their chances on goal. We have been getting stronger and healthier every game and this is just another step in the process of our ultimate goal."
Soellner took a feed from freshman Sam Lee at 10:38 in the first half and beat the Bucknell keeper from 15 yards out to tally her team-leading fifth goal of the season. Soellner has scored four goals in Patriot League play and now has seven career game-winners.
The coaching staff was also pleased with the play of Lee, who earned her fourth assist of the season and was solid in holding and distributing the ball, and controlling her defender. Additionally the starting midfield unit of Soellner, senior Amanda Serfass and junior Fallon Puppolo also put forth a strong performance.
Navy had a number of other scoring chances in the game, including Brittany Fruin striking a shot that was saved by Bucknell keeper Sandita McDermott in the 45th minute and freshman Julie Schumacher sending a ball just wide with 11 minutes to go in the first half. Serfass had a shot sail just over the cross bar from 20 yards out with two minutes to go in the second half.
Bucknell's best opportunity came with six minutes remaining in the second half when the Bison got the ball deep in the box. There was a scrum that Navy had trouble clearing and multiple attempts at punching the ball through were unsuccessful.
Navy outshot Bucknell, 8-3, in the decisive first half and 12-6 overall.
Sophomore goalkeeper Alexes Lopez-Shaw made one save to post her seventh shutout of the season.
The game had originally started on Saturday at Bucknell, but was called after nine minutes into a 0-0 game due to heavy snowfall. The game was then rescheduled for Sunday and restarted from the beginning of the game.
Notes: Navy will be making its 14th Patriot League tournament appearance and second appearance as the No. 3 seed ... Navy won the 2007 league championship as the No. 3 seed ... Navy and Lafayette each finished the season with 13 points, but Lafayette was awarded the No. 2 seed because of its 1-0 victory over Navy on October 7 ... Navy is 1-0 all-time against Lafayette in the Patriot League tournament and 17-2-1 against the Leopards all-time.