Navy’s Season Ends with Overtime Heartbreaker

Navy’s Season Ends with Overtime Heartbreaker

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Navy women’s soccer team saw its 2021 season in dramatic and heart-breaking fashion on Thursday night as Bucknell earned a 1-0 golden goal victory in the fourth minute of overtime in the semifinals of the Patriot League Tournament. Scoreless through 90 minutes of regulation action at Navy’s Glenn Warner Soccer Facility, the fourth-seeded Bison (10-7-3) received an unassisted goal from Teresa Deda at 93:09 to upset the second-seeded Midshipmen (11-6-3) and advance to Sunday’s Patriot League Championship game.
 
“I love the heart of this team,” remarked head coach Carin Gabarra. “I love the heart and passion from the senior class. You could tell from everyone’s reaction tonight to that outcome how they feel about our seniors and them playing their last games. That was a tough one. Bucknell is a very good team. They had a lot of opportunities and played very well. I thought our possession was good, but we weren’t finding many opportunities so it was tough to capitalize. Bucknell plays a different style than us. They have a very good attacking group. They like to play longer and over the top, while we like to possess and work through the different levels. We had some good moments and some lulls and vice versa, they had some good moments followed by lulls. It was a good, entertaining game, that honestly could have gone either way.”
 
In a rematch of the Patriot League opener from Sept. 18 in Lewisburg, Pa. that saw Bucknell win 4-2, Thursday’s playoff matchup had all the makings of an offensive slugfest as the two squads came in each averaging over 1.6 goals per game in league action. Though the strategy and looks were there throughout most of the game on Thursday, the movement on the scoreboard was dormant for the action in regulation.
 
Mattie Gallagher (So., Gilbertsville, Pa.) was active early to keep the Bison scoreless as she soared up to push a Deda shot on goal into the crossbar and away from danger in the 11th minute. The same series of shot and save occurred nearly 10 minutes as Gallagher snared Deda’s next attempt.
 
Bucknell’s pressure in its attacking third continued throughout the rest of the first half as the visitors put two more shots on goal, including an extremely dangerous chance in the 25th minute off of a corner kick. As the ball entered the six-yard box, Kelley Francis snapped a header on frame that deflected off of Jenna Daunt (So., Haymarket, Va.) on the goal line and into Gallagher’s arm for another save.
 
Scoreless at the halftime intermission, Bucknell was outshooting Navy, 6-3 with a 4-0 edge in shots on goal.
 
Gallagher kept up her high-level performance in goal for the Mids as she was called upon early in the second half with leaping save of a Rylee Donaldson attempt in the 46th minute and a diving denial of a Paige Temple re-direct of a cross from inside the six in the 52nd minute.
 
Carolyn Mang (Sr., Forest Hill, Md.) tried activating Navy’s offense in the second stanza as she recorded the Mids’ first two shots within the first 15 minutes of play. She would later notch two more shots in the half to give her six total attempts for the contest.
 
With Navy held scoreless for the opening 75 minutes, Bucknell continued to search for the go-ahead goal down the stretch. Gallagher was up for this task during this period of play as she was unrelenting in net making her seventh and final save of regulation with a stop of Hannah Stuck in the 77th minute. The Mids’ first shot on goal and test of the Bison’s goalkeeper Jenna Hall in the matchup came in the 87th minute when Alexa Riddle (Fr., Tomball, Texas) took aim for the upper-90 from 30 yards out. Unfortunately for the hosts, Hall leapt up at the goal line and snagged the high arching shot.
 
Tied 0-0 through 90 minutes, the game advanced into sudden victory overtime with a berth into the Patriot League Championship on the line. Slightly over three minutes into the first period, Deda put her third shot on goal of the game into the back of the net with a low left-footed rip from 20 yards out at 93:09.
 
For the game, Bucknell outshot Navy, 18-9 with an 8-1 advantage in shots on goal. Gallagher’s seven saves was her third highest total in 18 starts in her sophomore campaign.
 
“Every game is different,” remarked Gabarra about the differences between the two Navy-Bucknell games this fall. “We were at home tonight and the earlier matchup was the Patriot League opener on the road. We weren’t prepared for that game. We didn’t start well and never really recovered during the course of the game. This is the playoffs, it’s different. We all know each other really well. They know how we played that day and how we’ve played since. They did a lot of work shutting down our forwards from behind. When it comes to tournament play it can come down to a single play and someone making that difference.”

“I’m sad for our team, but that’s soccer, you’re not always going to win. We’ve had some really good seasons with these players. I’m really proud of our team and this senior class.”

 

With the loss, the Mids’ streak of consecutive Patriot League Championships ends at two after the program won in 2019 and 2020-21. Their 2021 season concludes with an overall mark of 11-6-3.

 

Navy’s Senior Class of 2022 consisting of defender Avery Fries (Draper, Utah), forward Molly Gillcrist (San Diego), goalkeeper Megan LaMendola (Springdale, Ark.), midfielder Victoria Tran (Clarksville, Md.) and team captain Carolyn Mang round out their career with four Patriot League Tournament appearances, three Star Game victories over Army and a four-year record of 42-19-12.

 

“All five of our seniors have been outstanding in every regard,” said Gabarra. “Their leadership was tested starting this past spring with the continuation of the 2020-21 season and league play, it was a bit of a curveball for everybody. It’s always hard to say good bye to a senior class because they do so much; they set the culture, they set the tone for training, day-in and day-out; their leadership has been tremendous. They’ve also been fantastic off the field, in the classroom, in the hall, in all areas. We’ll miss them a lot.

 

“Our goals remain the same, our passion and work ethic remain the same. Every class brings something new and something special and I’m looking forward to the next class stepping up.”

 

As both Boston University and Bucknell won their respective semifinals on Thursday, the top-seeded Terriers will host the league championship on Sunday afternoon in Boston.

 

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