ANNAPOLIS, MD. – The Army West Point women’s soccer team fought until the final whistle, but ultimately suffered a 1-3 loss to Academy rival Navy on Saturday evening.
Though the final score favored the Midshipmen, it was not indicative of how close the match felt. Army was narrowly out-shot by Navy at 12-13 and each side recorded five shots on-frame apiece.
The rivalry was evident at the start of the action, as each team battled to gain possession following the opening whistle. While Navy was the first to record a shot, an on-goal attempt that Sage Strohman stretched out to stop, Lauren Drysdale responded with a test of Navy’s keeper just minutes later.
Through the opening minutes of the match, the teams continued to trade shots. Army eventually earned a pair of back-to-back corner kicks which gave the team a solid chance to take the lead, but Navy’s counter-attack on the second set piece awarded the Mids a goal and put the home team up 1-0.
Minutes later, the Midshipmen tried to add another goal to their lead but Keira Vesy came up with a huge block to re-direct the ball.
The Black Knights had a few more looks at the net as the first half progressed, and did out-shoot Navy 8-6 in the first 45 minutes, but ultimately went into halftime in the deficit.
Following the break, the fight for possession continued as neither side was able to truly create space. Eventually, Navy earned a corner kick and curled a ball into the back post to score, extending the lead to 2-0. From there, the Mids continued to attack and were able to record their third goal of the game just minutes later thanks to a loose ball in the box.
The game became increasingly more physical as it continued, which awarded Army a pair of free kicks and helped get the ball into Navy’s half of the field. Kaelan Bradley fired off a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar, but Trinity Garay was there to collect the ball and booted it past the Midshipmen’s diving keeper. Garay’s fifth goal of the season ended the shutout and cut the lead down to a two-goal difference in the 71st minute.
As the clock wound down, neither team was able to create any additional chances offensively. Navy made one last run in the final minutes of action, but Strohman came off her line to collect the ball. Ultimately, the Midshipmen were able to hold on for the 3-1 result.
Army will have nearly a week off before hosting Bucknell on Friday, Oct. 22.