ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Despite registering nine shots over the final 45 minutes, the Navy men’s soccer team could not overcome giving up a goal in the last minute of the first half, as Fairleigh Dickinson defeated Navy, 1-0, on Friday night at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.
With the win, the Knights bumped up to 2-0-1 on the season, while the Midshipmen now sit at 1-2-0 overall.
Against the backdrop of the USS Minneapolis-Saint Paul docked on the Severn River, FDU put a pair of shots on goal in the first 22 minutes but sophomore goalkeeper Pierce Holbrook was there both times, while senior midfielder Sam Kriel had a shot blocked on the other end.
Holbrook had to dive to his left to save a shot off the foot of FDU’s Jordan Alonge in the 29′, and had help a few seconds later off the rebound when Tony Gomez’s shot went off the crossbar and over the net to keep the game scoreless.
The Knights had another two chances in quick succession in the 45th minute, as Josh Ferreira forced Holbrook to make another point-blank stop, but Jayd Hamdaoua finally converted with 45 second left in the half on the rebound opportunity to the right side.
After an FDU foul set up a free kick for Navy near their bench in the opening minute of the second half, junior midfielder David Jackson’s kick from outside the box on the restart went on-target, but Spencer King caught it in the air to prevent it from going in. FDU followed with its own shot at 48′ from Edoardo Calzola, but Holbrook was again there to stop the low shot.
Junior forward Baba Kallie tried to even the score in the 53rd minute with a shot in close, but King stopped the Midshipman’s kick, while King made another stop at 74′ on freshman midfielder Tommy Lockhart.
Holbrook kept Navy in it late when he recorded two more saves at 78′ and 82′, but the Mids’ offense was unable to connect in the final nine minutes, ending the comeback effort.
“FDU is a good team and very good on the counter,” said Navy head coach Tim O’Donohue. “The last two games have been a similar situation. I am very pleased with our second half. We played well for large portions of tonight but have to be more clinical in the final third of the game. It’s a long season and a young group, but we will come together at the right time. We have an excellent team and this group will react well.”
In 90 minutes of action, the Knights held the edge in shots at 15-10 and the shots-on-goal advantage (7-3). FDU also had the edge in corner kicks, using six second-half corners to post a 7-2 advantage.