ANNAPOLIS, Md. – With both sides scoring in the final nine minutes of play, the Navy men’s soccer team came away with a 1-1 draw against Patriot League rival Loyola on Saturday afternoon at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.

Saturday’s result moves the Mids to 4-4-8 on the season and 2-1-5 in league play, while the Greyhounds shifted to 4-5-7 overall and 2-2-4 in the PL standings.

Credit: Navy Athletics

After Navy celebrated its seniors pregame, Loyola came out with an early edge in possession and scoring chances, as an offside call at 11′ negated a goal while Daniel Tshiani had a shot stopped by sophomore goalkeeper Pierce Holbrook in close at the six-yard line during the 14th minute.

The Mids were able to respond with their own push after junior forward Baba Kallie subbed in the 18th minute, as sophomore forward Noah Ward had a shot blocked, junior defender Zach Wagner’s header was saved by Loyola netminder Alex Bobocea and Kallie put a shot high off the rebound all within two minutes of Kallie entering the contest.

A counterattack by Loyola off a Navy foul led to Holbrook making a jumping save to tip away an Eddy Rodriguez kick in the 21st minute, while junior midfielder Jason Aoyama put a shot on-target at the other end a minute later that Bobocea had to snuff out.

The 31st minute nearly saw freshman defender Jalen Grant knock home a header off a corner kick, but a Loyola defender was there to knock away the ball, and Holbrook kept the game scoreless at 39′ when he swallowed up a shot from Loc San that was deflected on the way in.

Holbrook was again active in the second half, stonewalling Rodriguez in the 56th minute before stopping Tshiani’s shot under a minute later. Aoyama had another chance stopped by Bobocea at 65′, while Holbrook denied Rodriguez once again in the 78th minute.

Navy finally broke through in the 82nd minute when Ward passed a ball upfield to Kallie and a rushing Kallie crossed a pass to Aoyama about eight yards out, as Aoyama tapped in the one-timer to the left corner for his second tally of the campaign.

Freshman forward A.J. Schuetz tried to add an insurance goal at 84′ but his shot was blocked, while Loyola’s leading scorer Kelan Swales put a shot on goal that Holbrook stopped in the 86th minute and Richie Nicholas sent a shot off-target seconds later.

Swales added to the game’s drama in the final minute, as he outraced the Navy defenders in the final 10 seconds, kicked a loose ball over Holbrook and watched as the shot bounced into the net for the equalizer with six seconds remaining in the contest.

“We played really well today,” said head coach Tim O’Donohue. “Jason was able to finish a great play for an excellent goal to go up late. It was very unfortunate with how the game ended, as that was a tough way to give up the equalizer. Our focus now shifts to American, and we are going to bring it all on Wednesday.”

Holbrook finished with a season-high seven saves, while Bobocea registered four saves in the opposing net, as Loyola outshot Navy by a 19-11 margin and notched eight shots on goal to the Mids’ six. Offside calls were also prevalent on Saturday, as the Greyhounds were whistled five times and Navy was dinged twice for being offsides.

Prior to the game, the Mids recognized the senior class of Kevin HilemanSam Kriel, Luke O’HaraThomas PearsonTait Thorne and captain JD Wagner.

Navy closes out the regular season on Wednesday, Nov. 2, taking on Patriot League foe American at 7 p.m. from the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.

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