May 24, 2012
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Head coach Carin Gabarra has finalized the 2012 Navy women's soccer schedule, which will feature 20 games overall and 13 home games. Gabarra, the only head coach in program history, will lead the Mids into their 20th season of varsity play this fall.
"We'll play a tough out of conference schedule and that will really prepare us for the competitiveness and the intensity of our conference games," Gabarra said. "The conference games are very important and they help us reach our ultimate goal."
The Mids will take advantage of the strong college women's soccer ties in the area, as the team will play nine teams from Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia this season.
"This is a soccer-rich area and we love to play those teams," Gabarra said. "It's great for our local soccer community to see a high level of soccer in the area and we are hoping to bring in a lot of fans that support our local teams."
The Mids open the season against Maryland at home on Friday, August 17 at Glenn Warner Soccer Facility. The Terps (12-6-4) advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament last fall and finished the season ranked No. 11 in the national coaches poll.
The Maryland contest is the first of a season-opening four-game home stand. Navy will welcome local foe UMBC (0-14-3) on August 19. Navy is 6-2-1 all-time against the Retrievers.
The following weekend Navy will host USC Upstate (2-16-1) on August 24 and George Mason (8-6-6) on August 26. George Mason is one of three Colonial Athletic Association teams that Navy will face in 2012 along with Towson and James Madison.
Navy's first road trip of the year will be to Florida over Labor Day Weekend. Navy will play at Jacksonville (11-5-3) on August 31 and North Florida (9-10-2) on September 2. Jacksonville, North Florida and USC Upstate are members of the Atlantic Sun Conference and North Florida is Navy's only first-time opponent this season.
The program will host its annual Navy Invitational from September 7-9. Navy will host Rider (9-6-4) on Friday at 7 pm and local opponent Towson on Sunday (9-10-0) at 3 pm.
George Washington will also be competing at the Navy Invitational but will not face Navy. George Washington will play Towson at 4 pm on Friday and Rider at 12 noon Sunday to round out the schedule of the four-game tournament.
Navy went 2-0 in the Navy Invitational last season to claim the team title.
The team's longest home stand, lasting five games and three weekends, continues with games on September 14 against James Madison (8-8-3) and September 16 versus VMI (3-13-2) at Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.
The fifth straight home game will be September 21 against Boise State (8-11-1). In the only other meeting in the series, Navy defeated Boise State, 2-1, in 2009. Three days later on September 24 Navy will make a short trip to Washington, D.C. to play Howard (4-12-1).
Navy will open Patriot League play at home against American (6-11-2) on Friday, September 28. Navy leads the all-time series against American, 8-7-3, and earned a hard-fought 3-2 overtime victory in 2011. Morgan Dankanich tied the game in the 89th minute before Ashlynn Soellner netted the game-winner in the 110th.
The Mids will play their final non-conference game at Mount St. Mary's on September 30. Navy leads the all-time series, 11-0.
Navy will host two Patriot League games the following weekend (October 5-7). The Mids will host Lafayette on Friday night and Lehigh on Sunday.
After Lafayette defeated Navy, 1-0, in the regular season, the Mids got revenge with a 3-2 win in the Patriot League semifinals. Dankanich scored the game-winner in the 80th minute to send Navy to the tournament final.
Lehigh also defeated Navy in the regular season, 1-0, in 2011, but Navy still holds a commanding 12-4-4 edge in the all-time series.
Navy will play at 2011 Patriot League regular season champion Colgate on Friday, October 12. Navy and Colgate tied in 2011, 1-1, due in large part to Soellner's 84th-minute tally to even the game.
The Army-Navy rivalry added a thrilling chapter to its saga last season. Army took a 2-0 lead in the first half in Annapolis, but Navy responded with three second-half goals, including the game-winner from Dankanich in the 88th minute to cap the improbable comeback. With the win, Navy increased its Star Game record against Army to 9-7-2.
The two teams met again in the Patriot League championship game, with Army (12-4-5) earning a 2-0 victory to capture the league's automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.
Army and Navy will meet in West Point for the 2012 Star Game on Friday, October 19. Navy will then stay on the road to play at Holy Cross (2-12-3) on Sunday. Navy leads the all-time series against Holy Cross, 15-2-1.
"It is has always been a phenomenal rivalry and its very important to our school, the Navy and Marine Corps," Gabarra said. "We look forward to this game every year."
Navy will conclude the regular season against Bucknell (5-10-1) at home on October 27. Navy's 1-0 victory over the Bison last year in the season finale secured its entry into the league's postseason tournament.
The top four seeds will advance to the Patriot League Tournament, which will be hosted by the regular season champion (November 2-4). Navy has qualified for the Patriot League Tournament in five of the last six years and 14 times in 18 years of eligibility.
Navy was 8-1-1 at Glenn Warner Soccer Facility last season and the Mids are 138-38-16 (.760) all-time while playing at home.
Season tickets for all of Navy's home soccer games (men and women) will go on sale later in the summer.
Navy returns eight starters and its top eight goal-scorers from last season's Patriot League runner-up squad. Navy was 13-6-3 overall and 4-2-1 in conference play in 2011.