ANNAPOLIS, Md. – In a non-conference game that showcased a battle of defenses, the Navy women’s soccer team drew 0-0 with St. John’s on Sunday at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility. The contest was marked by a stellar defensive performance from both teams, with Navy’s senior goalkeeper Mattie Gallagher making four impressive saves and twice defending corner kicks.
Gallagher’s defensive skills were highlighted throughout the match as she intercepted and batted away various crosses and corner kicks. St. John’s persistent offense attempted six corner kicks but could not penetrate the Navy’s defense.
Head coach Carin Gabarra spoke highly of St. John’s team, saying, “They’re going to be very hard for anyone to score on this season; their rotation, shaping, and knowledge of the game is top-notch.” Gabarra also praised the heart and passion that the Navy team showed, emphasizing that gaining experience against a well-rounded and dangerous attack like St. John’s would pay off moving forward.
The action during Sunday’s game was mainly controlled in the midfield and defensive third. Both teams recorded only one shot on goal during the first 25 minutes. Navy’s offense attempted to break through, especially in the closing minutes of the first half, but could not capitalize on the chances.
The intensity increased as both teams looked to net the first goal after halftime. Navy nearly found the net within 30 seconds of the opening kickoff, but a shot was blocked right after contact. St. John’s then controlled much of the ensuing 25 minutes, recording all five of the game’s shots and all four corner kicks. Gallagher, along with her defensive backfield mates, withstood these challenges.
In the game’s final minutes, both teams continued their attempts to break the 0-0 score but were unsuccessful. St. John’s outshot Navy 13-8, with a 4-1 edge in shots on goal. The game’s physical nature was evident, with the teams combining for 21 fouls, 11 for Navy, and 10 for the Red Storm.
This shutout marked the 14th of Gallagher’s career, tying her for sixth all-time with Dayton Wetherby (2013-16). On the weekend, Gabarra said, “We come away undefeated at home, which is always important. I challenged our team to start strong today and play a 90; I think we were close to that.”
Navy (1-0-1) began its 2023 season with a pressing contest against Charleston Southern, demonstrating an entirely different defensive side against St. John’s (1-0-1). The performance will likely boost confidence as they prepare for their next game, an inter-state showdown versus the University of Maryland on Thursday, August 24. Kickoff is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Ludwig Field.