TEANECK, N.J. – The Navy women’s soccer team collected its first road win of the season with a 1-0 victory over Fairleigh Dickinson on Sunday afternoon. Playing on the scorching turf of University Stadium, the Mids (3-2-2) received a game-winning goal by team captain Olivia Foster (Sr., Brighton, Mich.) in the 70th minute and saw junior goalkeeper Mattie Gallagher (Gilbertsville, Pa.) turn aside six shots on goals by the Knights (0-6) to earn the shutout.

“That was a really tough game,” remarked head coach Carin Gabarra. “Fairleigh Dickinson is a very solid, well-coached team, that will undoubtedly be in contention for the NEC league title this fall. Both teams battled some tough conditions; it was over 100 degrees on the turf this afternoon. We’re really pleased with this result. This is the kind of physical effort that we need game-in, game-out to win these types of games. We created a lot of good scoring chances and made it count late in the game. That was a great goal by Olivia.

“Once again, our team defense was excellent and really did a good job of making our opponent’s life hard on offense. Mattie made some clutch saves to earn the win and shutout.”

The Mids controlled most of the action in the first half, but were unable to put that one last touch on their final pass or shot towards goal as the visitors registered eight shots, though only two were on goal; a Katie Herrmann (Jr., Charlotte, N.C.) attempt in the 17th minute and an Isabella Romano (Fr., Syosset, N.Y.) look a little over 10 minutes later.

Credit: Navy Athletics

Gallagher and Navy’s defense did their job in the first half as Fairleigh Dickinson only took four total shots, though two made their way on the frame, both of which were saved by Gallagher.

Locked in a 0-0 stalemate through one half of action, the Knights were active in the first five minutes of the second stanza as twice they tested Gallagher with shots on goal. The Mids had a rebuttal for that early run of play as ten minutes later, Chloe Dawson (Jr., Fairfax, Va.) and Caitlin Doran (Sr., Queens, N.Y.) each forced Malene Nielsen, FDU’s goalkeeper, into action with difficult shots on goal.

With the game clock counting down towards 20 minutes left, Navy’s consistent pressure resulted in the first score of the contest at 69:57. Set up for a corner kick, Kat Healey (Jr., King George, Va.) lofted a deep, high-arching cross into the middle of the box to Rylee Rives (So., Arlington, Texas), who leapt up and flicked a header deeper into the box towards Foster, who gathered the ball on one bounce and whipped a shot into the back of the net.

Gallagher made one more save in the game to seal the shutout as she stopped a Lea Egner shot on goal in the 75th minute. In her third clean sheet of 2022, Gallagher was credited with six saves on Sunday afternoon.

For the game, Navy outshot Fairleigh Dickinson, 15-10, though the Knights held a slight 6-5 edge in shots on goal. The hosts also had one more corner-kick opportunity than the Mids.

“This has been one of the most difficult stretches of non-conference games that we’ve ever played,” said Gabarra. “Every team we’ve gone up against and still have to go up against will finish in the top half of their respective leagues. There have been no days off with this non-conference schedule.

 The Mids will conclude their three-game road trip on Thursday evening in Philadelphia. The first touch between Navy and Penn is set for 6 p.m. on the Quakers’ home pitch.


Leave a comment

Leave a Reply