WORCESTER, Mass. – Freshman forward A.J. Schuetz scored his first collegiate goal to help the Navy men’s soccer team pick up another point in the Patriot League standings, as the Midshipmen posted a 1-1 draw against Holy Cross Saturday afternoon at the Linda Johnson Smith Soccer Stadium.

Navy moves to 4-3-7 overall and 2-1-4 in league games, while the host Crusaders shifted to 4-8-4 on the season and 0-4-3 in the league table.

The Mids got their first chance of the contest at 7′ when junior midfielder Jason Aoyama crossed a pass to junior forward Baba Kallie from 20 yards out, with Kallie’s kick on net just outside the six-yard box forcing Josh Tubbs to quickly smother it a few feet in front of Kallie.

Holy Cross followed a blocked shot at 11′ with Matt McGonigle trying a bicycle kick off a long cross in the 16th minute, but sophomore goalkeeper Pierce Holbrook cleaned up an easy save.

McGonigle created another scoring chance for the Crusaders in the 22nd minute when his cross found Marcus Williams near the left post, but Williams’ header went just over the crossbar. The pair made up for it at 25′, when Williams passed it to McGonicle and McGonicle’s cross from near the right end line got to Evan Jones inside the goal box and Jones redirected it home off his right foot to open the scoring.

Navy was able to counter after Holy Cross’ surge, as late substitutions put Schuetz up front on a throw-in in the attacking end from sophomore midfielder Charlie Kriel, as the inbounded ball was headed by junior defender Zach Wagner towards the center of the field and put Schuetz in position from eight yards out to sneak a shot past Tubbs’ right side in the 40th minute

Credit: Navy Athletics

McGonicle had a shot blocked out of the bounds at 43′ and the ensuing corner kick saw a deflection go high of the net, while junior midfielder David Jackson shot the ball over the other net in the final minute in the final chance of the opening half.

After a lead pass to Kallie in the 54th minute led to a collision with Tubbs, a 55th-minute corner kick from Holy Cross led to Holbrook punching out the inbound and jumping up to grab a loose ball just seconds later.

The Navy netminder stayed busy, as McGonicle rocketed a shot off a through-ball at 58′ that Holbrook made a diving stop on, while the Mids responded with a Wagner header that Tubbs saved in the 60th minute.

After Jones had a few more chances stopped by Holbrook and his defenders, McGonicle put a hard shot right into Holbrook’s chest at 75′, while a foul at the other end set up a Jackson free kick that was inches away from being headed by Wagner in the 76th minute.

A Navy corner kick was headed out at 80′ and a flying Tubbs punched out the ensuing cross back into the box, and a pair of opportunities for Holy Cross’ Jack Ostrosky were thwarted shortly after.

The 86th minute had Kriel kick out a Crusaders’ shot that was bound for an empty net, while a Navy corner in the 89th minute was cleared out by the Holy Cross defenders and the Navy back line snuffed out one final counterattack from the Crusaders as time expired.

“This was not an easy game on the road, that’s for sure,” said head coach Tim O’Donohue. “Overall, we had some clear chances to go ahead early. I was disappointed to give up their goal, but we played better in the second half. We have to take care of our chances better. It’s all in front of us now with the two home games to end the Patriot League regular season, and we will be ready for it.”

In net, Holbrook registered five saves for the Mids and Tubbs notched three saves on the Holy Cross side, as the Crusaders had the edge in total shots, 14-7, and shots on goal, 7-4. Corner kicks ended up being even at 3-3, while Holy Cross committed 17 fouls to Navy’s five.

In addition to the Navy goal being Schuetz’s first career tally, it marked Kriel’s first point of the season and gave Wagner five points this year, moving him into third on the team in that category. Holbrook now has recorded five-or-more saves in six games this season.

Navy closes its road schedule on Tuesday, Oct. 25 with a trip up to Philadelphia, Pa., to take on Villanova at 3 p.m.

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