Sept. 6, 2009
CORAL GABLES, Fla. - Junior forward Carissa Youker (Potomac, Md.) scored the match's lone goal in the third minute as a terrific all-around effort from the Navy defense made that lead stand up and the Midshipmen topped host Miami (Fla.), 1-0 to capture the Hurricane Cup on Sunday afternoon with temperatures nearing 100 degrees at Cobb Stadium.
With the victory, Navy's first over an ACC opponent in nine tries, the Midshipmen women remain unbeaten at 5-0-1. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, fall to 3-2-0 on the season.
"Today was just an unbelievable effort on everyone's part," said Navy head coach Carin Gabarra. "Everyone contributed. We were confident and stuck to our game plan in how we wanted to play and defend. Right from the start, we were physically and mentally strong, and when we come out like that, I believe we can play with anybody.
"This was really a terrific weekend for us. To come out of these two matches against top-30 teams with these results - we couldn't ask for anything more."
Navy got onto the scoreboard early on what stood to be Youker's second game-winning goal this season and the eighth of her career (tied for the fifth-most in program history).
Sophomore defender Katelyn George (Loveland, Ohio) won possession on the left side of midfield, took a touch and sent in a long serve from left to right across the field to junior teammate Anastasia Abid (Williamsburg, Va.).
Abid one-timed the ball back across the goal and towards Youker, who courageously won the 50-50 chance and headed the ball off a bounce into the back of the net with Miami keeper Vikki Alonzo charging towards her.
"Carissa was again great for us as she has been all season," said Gabarra. "That was a terrific finish by her. She was determined to get to that ball first. "
Miami had several chances, but could not find the equalizer over the next 87-plus minutes, despite outshooting the Mids, 25-3 and drawing 10 corners to Navy's three. The Hurricanes had an attempt in the 15th minute hit the post and had a number of chances in the waning stages of the contest, but could not manage to solve the Navy defense led by and senior keeper Beth Reed (Indianapolis, Ind.), who for the second-straight match set a new career-high in saves, this time turning away 11 efforts.
"Beth was incredibly solid once again," said Gabarra. "She was great in the air on crosses and there every time we needed her."
"It feels great," said Reed of the team's 5-0-1 start. "Today was just a total and complete team effort. Miami really stepped up the pressure there at the end, but our defense stayed with them every step of the way. They were awesome Friday night for 110 minutes and again they really gave everything they had."
Gabarra also singled out the play of Navy center backs Shelly Moeller (Milford, Ohio) and Katie Kelly (Reston, Va.) as being instrumental in the Mids keeping a Miami team, which has earned an at-large berth into the NCAA College Cup in each of the last two seasons, off of the scoreboard.
"Both Shelly and Katie were rock-solid for us in the back," said Gabarra. "These two games were a textbook example in how we want to defend."
Navy has allowed just three goals in six games, while posting four shutouts. The Mids were outshot by a combined 50-8 margin on the weekend, but did not allow a goal in 200 minutes of action en route to capturing the Hurricane Cup with a 1-0-1 mark, their second regular-season tournament title this season.
"We deserved these results," said Gabarra. "We didn't have a ton of chances in each of these games, but in both matches we created as many quality opportunities as our opponents did. We're thrilled with the success we've had so far, but there is a long way to go and the schedule doesn't let up any next weekend."
Navy hosts a pair of matches at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility next weekend. First on the docket is regional power James Madison on Friday, Sept. 11 at 7:00 pm, followed by Liberty on Sunday, Sept. 13 at 1:00 pm.
Navy 1-0-1 (T 0-0 vs. UD; W 1-0 vs. UM)
Miami 1-1-0 (W 1-0 vs. WC; L 0-1 vs. Navy)
Dayton 0-0-2 (T 0-0 vs. Navy; T 0-0 vs. WC)
Western Carolina 0-1-1 (L 0-1 vs. UM; T 0-0 vs. UD)
Anastasia Abid, Navy
Katie Kelly, Navy
Shelly Moeller, Navy
Beth Reed, Navy
Carissa Youker, Navy
Caitlin Williams - WCU
Shanna Schmoker - WCU
Brittney Macdonald - Miami
Beverly Goebel - Miami
Brittney Steinbruch - Miami
Emily Kenyon - Dayton
Kathleen Belsan - Dayton
MVP - Caitlin Williams - WCU
*It is the fourth-time in eight years that Navy has remained unbeaten through its first six games. (Also in: 2002, 2003, 2006).
*Miami opened the year with wins in three of its first four matches. Its lone loss (1-0) came at the hands of No. 6 Florida. The Hurricanes were receiving votes in the SoccerTimes.com Top 25 Coaches Poll and are ranked eighth in the NSCAA's Southeast Region rankings.
*Shelly Moeller extended her consecutive-games started streak to 75.