Nov. 8, 2013
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Junior forward Morgan Dankanich (Glenmoore, Pa.) continued to add to her impressive offensive resume, scoring twice in the 2-0 win over American on Friday in Annapolis. With the win, Navy will host No. 2 Boston University on Sunday, Nov. 10 in the Patriot League Title match at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility at 1 p.m.
“With the 0-0 tie heading into the second half, we knew we had to come out strong early and gain momentum and being able to score two goals early in the second half was the momentum that we needed to win,” said Dankanich. “With American dropping off, we were able to be a bit more creative on offense and it allowed me and my teammates to have good looks at the net.”
Dankanich, the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, tallied two goals on Friday to bring her 2013 goal total to 14. Her 14 goals ties Navy’s sixth-best single-season total set by Stacy Finley in 2001.
Navy (16-4) and American (6-12-2) played a scoreless first half. The Mids outshot the Eagles, 6-2, and had the lone corner kick of the half.
Dankanich had the best offensive look in the first half and it came in the seventh minute. The junior forward found an opening at the top of the 18-yard box and rifled a shot at the net. Eagle net-minder Charlene Belanger denied the shot to keep the match 0-0.
As the second half began, Navy wasted very little time turning up the heat on offense and most of the opportunities were generated through Dankanich. Her first shot of the second half, two minutes in, bounced underneath the crossbar, but came back into play.
Then in the 51st minute, Dankanich found the back of the net to give the Mids a 1-0 lead. Sophomore midfielder Kaylie Davidson (Oceanside, Calif.) dribbled the ball through two defenders on American’s end-line to the edge of the 18-yard box. As Davidson crossed into the box, she chipped a pass in front of the net. Dankanich was able to get in front of her defender and head in her 13th goal of the season.
Two minutes later, American committed a foul 20-yards in front of its net to give Navy a free kick. Dankanich took advantage of the free kick by bending it over the wall and past Belanger for her second goal of the game and 14th on the season.
Over the next 25 minutes, Navy’s offense was able to keep the pressure in American’s defensive-third. The Mids generated seven shots over the span.
“I thought our team made good decisions in solving what American was throwing at us, both offensively and defensively,” said head coach Carin Gabarra. “Being able to send numbers forward to attack, connect on a good amount of passes and hold possession for a long period of time was the right kind of recipe we needed to win the match.”
In the 78th minute the Eagles had their best look against the Mids defense. American’s Lindsay Muri created space at the top of the 18-yard box and sent a high-liner at the net. Mids goalkeeper Elizabeth Hoerner reached out and batted the ball over the net to hold the Eagles scorless.
Navy’s back four and Hoerner held American for the final 12 minutes of the contest to advance to their third-straight Patriot League Championship game. Hoerner record two saves in 86 minutes of play. Mids freshman Dayton Wetherby (Wesley Chapel, Fla.) wrapped up the final four minutes, having not recorded a save in the win. American’s Belanger tallied eight saves on 10 chances in the loss.