CATONSVILLE, Md. — In a match that started unassuming with a scoreless first half, the Navy women’s soccer team dramatically picked up the pace in the second period to dominate UMBC, ending in a 4-1 victory on Sunday afternoon at Retriever Soccer Park. After neither team managed to score in the initial 45 minutes, Navy’s offense erupted in the second half, netting two goals off corner kicks within 13 minutes and adding two more late goals to seal the win.

Junior Amanda Graziano led Navy’s offense, assisting on the first two goals and scoring one herself in the 90th minute. Junior teammates Rylee Rives and Tatum Kelly headed in Graziano’s corner kicks in the 50th and 58th minutes, respectively. Senior Kat Healey added a goal in the 80th minute, rounding out Navy’s scoreline.

Credit: U.S. Naval Academy

Head coach Carin Gabarra said, “I’m proud we converted our scoring chances in the second half. We could find goals in various ways; our set pieces were very dangerous today. This quality road win will help us as the season progresses.”

UMBC started the game aggressively, pressuring Navy goalkeeper Mattie Gallagher and the defense with four shots within the opening 10 minutes. However, Navy responded with only two shots in the following 10-minute period. Despite these early efforts from both sides, neither team could score in the first half. UMBC led with a 7-4 advantage in total shots and a 4-2 edge in shots on goal at halftime.

Navy started the second half strongly as Alexa Riddle nearly scored a goal 10 seconds into the period, setting the stage for what was to come. Navy took the lead at 49:27 with Graziano’s well-placed corner kick headed in by Rives. Although UMBC equalized shortly after, Navy regained the lead at 57:06 with another Graziano corner kick that deflected off a UMBC player and into the net.

The Mids’ defense, now invigorated, effectively blocked UMBC’s attempts for the remainder of the game, allowing just one errant shot. Navy’s Kassidy Borden quick-played a free kick to Jenna Daunt, who found Healey for the third goal at 79:17. Graziano completed the scoring at 89:38.

By the end of the game, Navy outshot UMBC 19-12, with a decisive 11-5 lead in shots on goal. These totals were even more lopsided in the second half, at 15-5 and 9-1, respectively.

“After a strong run of play in the non-conference, we’re motivated and looking forward to the challenge that lies ahead with Patriot League competition,” commented Gabarra. “We’re healthy and deep as our roster has been able to see quite a lot of time during the non-conference.”

Navy will next face Lehigh in its Patriot League home opener on Friday night, with the kickoff set for 7 p.m. at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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