It was a sloppy, physical match that remained scoreless for the first seventy minutes, but Maryland broke through with two late goals to down Navy, 2-0.
Sophomore Gabby Galanti, subbing in for starter Hayley Brock, got a through ball from junior Cory Ryan and set up by Riley Barger in the 71st minute. Navy goalkeeper and senior Elizabeth Hoerner came out to cut down the angle, but Galanti dodged around her to the left and from a very tight angle sent the ball just inside the right post.
Senior forward Brock would add an insurance goal eleven minutes later, taking a pass from senior Megan Gibbons on the right, getting through two defenders and into the box, then lasering a shot through a crowd into the lower left netting.
Sophomore Ashley Spivey looked to open the scoring for Maryland in the 6th minute with a nice run down the left and into the box, but she missed just wide right. In the 25th minute, freshman Lauren Berman would steal the ball and make a nice run down the left side for a cross in to Brock, but Hoerner made a quick grab to keep the ball out.
Navy’s best chance in the first half was in the 33rd minute after a foul a couple of yards outside the box by Maryland sophomore defender Erika Nelson, who picked up the only yellow card of the match on the play. Junior Rachel Hunter stepped up to take the kick for Navy and sent a looping ball that just missed the upper right hand corner of the goalmouth.
At the half, Maryland sophomore goalkeeper Rachelle Beanlands had actually been called upon to make more saves than Hoerner, 3 to 1, and Maryland barely led in shots, 7 to 6.
Beanlands’ first-half saves had been routine, though, while her first one of the second half was anything but. An uncharacteristic defensive breakdown by the Terrapins gave the Midshipmen a two-on-one break. Navy senior Paloma Perez ended up one-on-one with Beanlands, but a diving save from the goalkeeper kept her shot from going in. Perez would have another promising attack in the 55th minute, but Gibbons broke that up.
A minute before Galanti’s goal, Maryland junior Cory Ryan made a great run down the right and into dangerous territory, but Hoerner snuffed her out before she could shoot.
Hoerner’s heroics continued to keep the match close in the final minutes as Spivey had a one-on-one with her, but the goalkeeper came off her line and smothered the shot. Junior defender Shade Pratt collected the rebound and fired another shot in, but Hoerner leaped to block that one as well.
Next weekend Maryland faces what head coach Jonathan Morgan is calling “a challenging trip to California,” which may be something of an understatement. They first face #23 Santa Clara on Friday, September 6, at 10 pm, then play #2 Stanford on Sunday, September 8, at 4 pm.
Meanwhile, Navy hosts the four-team Navy Invitational next weekend, with Towson, St. Bonaventure, and Duquesne coming to Annapolis to play. The Middies face Duquesne Friday at 7 pm followed by St. Bonaventure Sunday at noon.
Photos courtesy of Ken L. Harriford/KLH Photography