Oct. 8, 2009
Annapolis Capital | By Dave Broughton, Staff Writer |Published: 10/8/09
Even if records mean little when Navy meets Army in women's soccer, it doesn't mean the Mids aren't mindful of the past.
Last year, Navy hosted Army in the Patriot League finals with an NCAA Tournament berth at stake. The result was a 1-0, double-overtime victory for the Black Knights.
Tomorrow at 7 p.m., the teams meet again at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility in the annual Army-Navy Star Game. The sides played to a scoreless draw in last year's Star competition in West Point.
Navy senior goalkeeper Beth Reed is looking forward to starting against Army for the first time tomorrow, and admitted the season-ending loss to Army still stings.
"It's always so competitive,'' Reed said. "And especially since the way we ended last year, it makes this game a little something more for us because that was definitely not the note we wanted to go out on.''
Added fellow senior Shelly Moeller, a two-time Patriot
League Defensive Player of the Year: "Last year, that was tough on everybody. I think we're going out there hungry this year."
As for the records, Navy is 9-2-2 overall, including a scoreless draw against Colgate last Friday in the Patriot League opener for both teams. Army is 5-5-2 overall and also opened league play with a scoreless draw, that coming against Lehigh.
Reed, a team captain, has been outstanding in goal for Navy after taking over for the graduated Lizzie Barnes. Reed has a conference-best six solo shutouts and is ranked among the national leaders in both save percentage (10th, .894) and goals-against average (16th, 0.53).
"I don't think anybody could ask any more of Beth,'' Moeller said. "You could watch her for five minutes and guess that she's been the starter for all four years. She just plays with that confidence. She's been playing great.''
While Navy has outscored opponents, 27-8, the Mids have not scored in two of their last three games. Head coach Carin Gabarra
, whose teams always stress defense first, said it's no time to panic.
"We're not playing our best; we just really haven't put all the parts together yet. We had some great chances the other night and, generally, creating the chances is the hard part; finishing can be the easier part, so we just didn't execute well. We're doing the hard things well, so I think that will come when we need it to come.''
Gabarra, a former U.S. National Team star and member of the 1996 Olympic gold-medal winning team, arrived at Navy in 1993, leading the Mids to a 2-5 mark in their first season as a varsity sport. The UC-Santa Barbara graduate is 9-8-2 against Army, and relishes the intense rivalry between the academies.
"I love it; it's a great atmosphere,'' Gabarra said. "No matter the level of the teams, it's always a great game, a hard-fought, passionate game, and we always have a great turnout locally and from the brigade.
"This game is more than just playing for our team. It's playing for a bigger family and that's important to us and we take that seriously.''
NOTES: Fans purchasing tickets to tomorrow's game will receive a free ticket to Sunday's 1 p.m. game against Holy Cross. ... The Mids are unbeaten at home in their last seven Patriot League regular season games (6-0-1). ... Junior Carissa Youker leads the conference in points (16), game-winners (4), and is tied for the lead in goals with six. Navy starting freshman defender Stephanie Strine grew up just outside West Point. Both her parents are West Point graduates.
## GO NAVY! ##