ANNAPOLIS, Md. – A timely penalty kick made the difference on Tuesday night, as the Navy men’s soccer team posted a 1-0 shutout over Longwood thanks to junior David Jackson’s PK goal in the second half at the Longwood Athletics Complex in Farmville, Va.

Jackson’s tally and a shutout by sophomore goalkeeper Pierce Holbrook were the main factors in a win that improved the Midshipmen to 2-2-2 overall, while the Lancers dropped to 1-2-2 on the season.

With both sides fighting for possession early, it took until 6′ for any offense as Jackson nearly got the opening tally. Still, he was cut off by the goalkeeper just before he could kick it right outside the 6-yard box, while Wasswa Robbins had a shot blocked after the ball bounced out to him just outside the penalty box off the ensuing corner kick.

Longwood answered with three shot attempts in the 13th minute from Franco Di Giovanni, Renan Santos, and Jose Carlos, but each was either blocked or off-target, while Di Giovanni put a shot just outside the left post at 16′.

A cluster of bodies blocked Jonas Kalchner’s shot at 29′ in front, and his foul shortly after negated a scramble that almost saw the ball end up in the Mids’ net. Sophomore Noah Ward had another chance for Navy in the 33rd minute, but the Lancers’ Alexandre Durand saved his kick.

Credit: Josh Burns / U.S. Naval Academy

The 40th minute saw a flurry of movement inside the box by Longwood, but a loose ball allowed Holbrook to dive and cover it up before the Lancers could generate a shot.

In the second half, sophomore Connor Walcott had a shot from the left side go just over the opposite corner at 52′, while Stephenson had a shot go high in the 54th minute at the other end of the field. Navy broke the scoreless tie a few moments later in the 55th minute, as the Mids were awarded a penalty kick that Jackson rifled past the Longwood keeper to notch his second-straight game with a goal.

Stephenson connected on another Longwood shot in the 58th minute that went on target, but Holbrook made the save. At the same time, Walcott came within inches of extending the Navy lead at 67′, as the rookie’s header off a cross from Charlie Kriel hit the top of the crossbar.

The 73rd minute saw a Holbrook save on Carlos, while Robbins had another chance to extend the Navy advantage a few seconds later at the other end, but his shot missed to the left of an open net.

Holbrook denied Carlos’ shot again at 76′, making an outstretched, highlight-reel dive to his left and deflecting it out of play.

Jackson nearly got his second game goal in the 86′ when he inbounded a corner kick to Robbins, who quickly fed the ball back as Jackson then ripped a low shot on goal that Durand had to gather. The Navy defense then shut it down the rest of the way, not allowing a Longwood shot over the final eight minutes of the game

“Tonight was a good road win and a good second half of play,” said Navy head coach Tim O’Donohue. “We did a better job closing the game and showed growth tonight. It was great to get Wasswa back to the full action, and Jalen Grant was excellent stepping in at center-back. Overall, it was a good performance for this group heading into Patriot League games.”

For Holbrook, Tuesday’s win marked his second clean sheet of the season, while Jackson now shares the team lead with junior Baba Kallie at five points. Jackson’s goal was also the first PK goal by the Mids since Jackson scored on a penalty kick at American on November 9, 2021.

The lone card of the night was a yellow issued to Carlos in the 53rd minute.

The shots battle was close, as Longwood had a tight 15-12 edge in shots, putting five on-target compared to Navy’s three shots-on-goal. For corners, the Lancers also had another close edge at 7-6, but Navy was more disciplined with ten fouls to Longwood’s 17.

Up next, Navy travels to Bucknell on Saturday, Sept. 17, for the Mids’ Patriot League opener. The Mids and Bison are set for a 6 p.m. kickoff on ESPN+.

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