Women’s Soccer Drops Matchup at Navy

Matthew Washuta

The ‘Gate women’s soccer team faced a tough road test this weekend against Navy. Both teams entered the game with an undefeated record in Patriot League play. Navy bested the Raiders with a strong start and held its lead with a tough, dominant defense winning 1-0.

Navy opened the match with a solid start quickly finding scoring opportunities and, at times, flustering the Raider defense. The Midshipmen secured quick scoring opportunities as junior forward Morgan Dankanich pursued a viable opportunity to give the Mids an early lead.

However, Raiders first-year goalkeeper Brenna Mason had other plans. She expertly blocked the shot keeping the score tied. A few seconds later, Navy secured possession and attempted another shot for the early lead. Once again, Mason saved the team from finding itself in a quick hole.

Soon after, the Raiders seemed to find its footing and counter Navy’s early onslaught. The team earned some scoring opportunities of its own to hinder Navy’s balanced attack. Junior midfielder Caroline Brawner took advantage of a corner kick and sent it flying into the box in anticipation of a fellow teammate shipping it to the back of the net. Junior defender Chelsea Roche secured possession of Brawner’s kick and fired a shot towards the goal but it sailed just high of the goal, hitting the crossbar.

Navy then countered Colgate’s strong scoring opportunity with a scoring opportunity of their own. Mids junior

midfielder Rachel Hunter deflected a Raider throw-in and headed the ball towards Mids first-year forward Courtney Hook who positioned herself to align with fellow first-year forward Cat Macklin down the field. Hook passed the ball off to Macklin who finished with a rocket to the back of the net giving Navy a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute. Navy kept up its strong offensive play with another scoring opportunity on the part of Macklin once again. Colgate’s Mason kept her composure against the fiery Navy offense and deflected the shot keeping the score at a 1-0 hole going into halftime.

The Raiders looked to erase the deficit in the second half and started with strong urgency, creating scoring opportunities. The Mids held strong, however, and deflected shot after shot all the while establishing more opportunities of their own. Mason was there to block any remaining opportunities the Mids offered and kept the deficit a slim 1-0.

Colgate’s scoring opportunities were dwarfed by the incredible Navy defense, yet the Raiders held tough and consistently attempted to erase the deficit before the final whistle blew. The test proved too difficult, however, as the Raiders ultimately lost 1-0. The win preserves Navy’s perfect record in Patriot League play. A testament to Navy’s defense is its nearly six-consecutive games-worth of minutes of refusing to allow a single goal. The Raiders have time to rebound and come back stronger, however. The rebound starts with a road test on Wednesday against Army. The Raiders will return to Van Doren Field on Saturday to play Holy Cross.

Contact Matthew Washuta at [email protected]