BETHLEHEM, Pa. – The Navy women’s soccer team saw its 2022 campaign end in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League Tournament on Sunday afternoon as the fourth-seeded Lehigh Mountain Hawks (8-6-3) knocked off the fifth-seeded Mids (8-8-3) by a score of 4-0 at the Ulrich Sports Complex. The host squad scored two goals in both halves as Navy was unable to answer them on the scoreboard.
“We knew what we had to do coming into today’s game and unfortunately we didn’t succeed,” remarked head coach Carin Gabarra. “We knew that we had to win the set piece battle and neutralize two very talented players in Corinne Lyght and Ryelle Shuey, but we failed to do either. We made too many mistakes in key moments and the result reflected that. The better team won; they had a better season and put themselves in a better position with a home game today. I know our entire team is disappointed and wanted to perform better.”
The game opened evenly through the first 20 minutes as both teams recorded two shots. Lehigh had the first threatening look of the contest as the Mountain Hawks played a ball over the top to Ava Schaller in the eighth minute, but Tatum Kelly (So., Pinehurst, N.C.) tracked her down from behind and threw her leg in front of Schaller’s leg late to keep the shot off target.
Navy’s first look on goal was an Amanda Graziano (So., Middlebury, Conn.) shot in the 12th minute that curled around a Lehigh defender, but right into the waiting arms of the Mountain Hawks’ goalkeeper Maggie Ousouljoglou. The Mids’ second shot on goal came eight minutes later when Alexa Riddle (So., Tomball, Texas) drew a foul just outside the box that resulted in a free kick that Jenna Daunt (Jr., Haymarket, Va.) put on goal, though it was denied by Lehigh’s goalie.
A diving save by Mattie Gallagher (Jr., Gilbertsville, Pa.) on a Mattie Murphy volley in the 21st minute helped keep the Mountain Hawks off the scoreboard.
The hosts eventually grabbed a 1-0 lead less than three minutes later when Ryelle Shuey collected Corinne Lyght’s header shot that had rang off the post and snapped a mid-air volley shot into the back of the net at 23:30.
Shuey increased Lehigh’s advantage to 2-0 in the 32nd minute when she converted a penalty kick.
Outshot 13-5 in the first half, the Mids were unable to make any in-roads on the scoreboard as the Mountain Hawks stretched their lead to 3-0 just over four minutes into the second half as the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year Corinne Lyght scored her seventh goal of the season at 49:01.
Navy continued hunting for its first goal of the contest and nearly succeed in the 69th minute when Riddle dribble around a pair of Lehigh defenders and deftly laid off the ball for Isabella Romano (Fr., Syosset, N.Y.), who connected for a curling one-timed left-footed shot high on goal, though Ousouljoglou made another save. The Mids kept pressing and the junior duo of Katie Herrmann (Charlotte, N.C.) and Kat Healey (King George, Va.) linked up in the 78th minute on a corner kick as Herrmann gathered the cross with her right foot and quickly transitioned to her left before ripping a shot that was blocked by Lehigh’s defender Erin Keefe before reaching the goal.
The hosts registered an addition insurance goal at 79:33 with a Chloe Sherman tally to make it final at 4-0.
For the game, Lehigh outshot Navy, 17-10. Both teams were credited with seven shots on goal. The Mids out-numbered the Mountain Hawks in corner kicks by an 8-2 margin.
“We’d like to recognize and thank our senior class for four years of leaving their blood, sweat and tears out on the field,” said Gabarra in closing. “Being a part of two championship seasons is something special.”