Second-team all-stars senior Kristen Laraway (Long Valley, N.J.) and sophomore Carissa Youker (Potomac, Md.) pace the conference's highest scoring offense with 17 and 16 points, respectively. An explosive offensive talent, Laraway has made the most of her final collegiate season, scoring a career-high six goals to go along with five assists - the most recent coming on teammate Kate Herren's overtime winner Friday night against Colgate.
Youker joins Laraway as one of eight Mids that have set career-best point totals this season. The second-year forward has booted in a team-leading seven goals, including five game-winners. Her seven goals rank as the fourth-most in the conference, while her five game-deciding tallies ties for the sixth-best single-season mark in school history.
Driving Youker's success in the upper-third has been the terrific chemistry she has developed with sophomore table-setter Christine Calderon (Yorktown, Va.). Calderon leads Navy and ranks second in the league with a team-high seven assists and has also scored a pair of goals for a career-best 11 points. After joining the starting-11 midway through the season, the sophomore tandem has connected on four of Youker's team-leading seven tallies.
Led by a pair of two-time league players of the year at their respective positions in senior goalkeeper Lizzie Barnes (New Orleans, La.) and junior defender Shelly Moeller (Milford, Ohio), Navy's stalwart defense has surrendered only 13 goals in 21 games (0.62 g/gm).
Barnes leads all league keepers in goals-against average (0.64) and has posted eight solo shutouts this season, while playing at least a half in contributing to 12 of the team's 13 blankings. She has warded off 66 of 77 shots on goal and owns a league-best 85.7 save percentage. Additionally, Barnes has thrived against league competition, recording six shutouts, while allowing only two goals (0.25 GAA) in eight total games.
Moeller, a three-time all-league defender, has been the catalyst of the Midshipmen defense. She has started all 21 games (and 68-straight dating back to her freshman season) and scored four goals, three of which were game-winners.
Seniors Julie Reynolds (Sherman, Conn.) and Carey Young (Virginia Beach, Va.) join Moeller as all-league members on a deep and talented Navy defensive corps. Reynolds, Navy's team captain, is a three-time second-team honoree in the defensive midfield while Young, who has put together a banner year with nine points and five assists, is a first-time league all star.
As a team, Navy's defense entered the week ranked among the nation's leaders in a number of categories. The Mids were 12th in shutout percentage (61.9) and stand 18th in both GAA (0.59) and save percentage (86.7).
Scouting the Black Knights
Picked to finish sixth in the preseason poll, Army has rode the back of rookie sparkplug and first-team all star Dymon Washington and a stifling defense, led by sophomore all-league keeper Alex Lostetter, to its first league final appearance since 2005.
The Black Knights are led by 23rd-year head coach Gene Ventriglia, who was honored earlier this week with his sixth career league coach of the year award.
One of only two freshmen on the Patriot League's first-team, Washington has quickly established herself as one of the league's top strikers. She led the Black Knights in scoring with seven goals and three assists for 17 points - the conference's fifth-highest total.
Veteran midfielder and senior captain Sarah Goss complements Washington up front as the only other Army player with double-digit points with 10. Goss, a second-team all-league honoree, has scored four goals and has two assists to her credit.
While it is always the case in playoff soccer, on Sunday afternoon especially, you can expect goals to be at a premium. The Black Knights (0.84 g/gm) join the Mids as the only other league team yielding less than a goal per contest.
There offense has struggled as of late - scoreless over its last 461:10 coming into Sunday - but, just like their academy counterparts they boast a strong backline unit and a trot out a standout netminder in Lostetter that is capable of keeping them in each and every game.
The Black Knights' keeper paces the league with 10 shutouts and maintains a 0.78 GAA that is second only to Navy's Barnes. She allowed just two goals in league play (tied with Barnes for fewest in conference) while recording seven shutouts in eight games against Patriot League competition - the latest in Friday night's semifinal against Bucknell.
After 110 minutes of scoreless soccer, senior Caroline Miller scored in the seventh round of penalty kicks to lift third-seeded Army past the No. 2 Bison and put the Black Knights just one win away from their first NCAA appearance.
With a win over Army, Navy would...
*claim its third consecutive league title and its fourth overall in the program's history (2003, 2006 & '07)
*carry the Patriot League banner into the NCAA College Cup for the fourth time in the last six years
*join Colgate as the only programs in Patriot League history to claim three consecutive league postseason titles. The Raiders captured six-straight crowns from 1994-99.
*push its season-high unbeaten streak to 13 games, while extending its untarnished mark against league foes to 17-straight (12-0-4) dating back to last season
*extend its winning streak in Patriot League Tournament play to eight-straight games and improve to 12-8-0 all-time.
*defeat Army for the third straight time in the Patriot League Tournament and improve to 3-1 all-time against the Black Knights in the postseason.
*remain unbeaten against Army in its last four contests. The Mids won two straight prior to this year's scoreless draw in West Point.
Last Time vs. Army - Oct. 24, 2008 - West Point, N.Y.
In the much-anticipated annual Star-Game, it was strong defense and some timely goalkeeping that had the final say after 110 minutes of soccer. Navy had its chances, putting nine shots on goal, but were unable to breakthrough against archrival Army and wound up settling for a 0-0 draw in hard-fought affair at Clinton Field.
Inside the Matchup
*The Midshipmen own an 11-8 record in Patriot League Tournament games and have won seven in a row (outscoring their opposition by 14-3 margin). In its last five league postseason contests, Navy has not allowed a single goal.
*All-time, Navy is 887-674-39 (.567) in competitions against Army, while over the last 13 years the Midshipmen boast a 241-132-5 (.644) mark. This season, Navy is 4-3-1 against Army.
*After the first seven Star competitions in 2008 between the two institutions, the series is tied at 3-3-1. The Mids' Star Game wins have come from the women's cross country, golf and sprint football teams.
Navy - Army Series
Overall Navy, 9-7-2
In Annapolis Navy, 5-3-0
In West Point, N.Y. Tied, 3-3-2
Neutral Site Tied, 1-1-0
Star Games Navy, 7-6-2
PL Regular Season Navy, 7-6-2
PL Tournament Navy, 2-1-0
Last PL Tourn. Meeting 11/6/99 - Navy, W 2-1 (2OT); semis in Hamilton, N.Y.
Current Streak Navy, 3 games (2-0-1)
Last-10 Navy, 6-2-2
2008 Meeting Tie, 0-0 (2OT)
Overall Navy-Army Series - All Sports
Overall Navy, 887-674-39 (.567)
Last 13 years Navy, 242-134-6 (.642)
Herren's Golden Goal Sends Navy to Third-Straight League Final
Freshman Kate Herren (Auburn, Wash.) scored her first career game-winner just 5:52 into the first overtime period leading the top-seeded Navy women to a 1-0 victory over No. 4 Colgate (7-11-1) in a Patriot League semifinal match Friday in front of a season-high crowd.
Navy's first-year midfielder was trailing the play as her senior teammate Kristen Laraway made a spirited run down the left flank and sent a right-footed blast that Colgate's diving keeper was able to push off the right-inside post. The rebound caromed out and to the left and a charging Herren won the footrace to the loose ball and promptly put home the overtime winner to send the Mids to the league final for a third consecutive season.
"I was just in the right place at the time," said Herren of her 96th-minute game-winner. "Kristen really made a terrific run and I thought her shot was headed in. I had fallen behind the play a bit, but as soon as I saw it hit the post, I jumped on it."
In a Class of its Own
Courtesy of Friday's semifinal victory over Colgate, Navy's decorated eight-member senior class now owns the highest winning percentage (.739) and is tied for the most wins (60) of any class in school history. With one more win, this special group of Midshipmen, which already has a pair of league titles and NCAA appearances to its credit, will surpass the Class of 2005 for the school record for wins.
Class Fr. Soph. Jr. Sr. Overall Pct.
2009 10-8-2 21-2-1 14-5-4 13-3-3 60-18-10 .739
2005 16-5-1 16-1-4 17-5-1 11-8-1 60-19-7 .738
A Tradition of SuccessPatriot League Dominance
The Midshipmen have surpassed the double-digit mark in victories and secured a winning season for a 14th consecutive year. There are currently 318 Division I soccer teams in the nation and only 10 of them have won 10 or more games for 14 consecutive seasons ... Navy has earned three straight postseason berths and a total of 12 in its 15 years of Patriot League membership ... In 2008, Navy won the regular season league crown outright and the right to host the league tournament for the third time in program history (1998, 2001). The Mids earned a share of the Patriot League title in 1999, 2002, 2003 and most recently in '06.
Navy is unbeaten in its last 16 games (12-0-4) against Patriot League competition. Its last setback came at the hands of Bucknell, 1-0, in the 2007 league opener on Oct. 5 in Lewisburg, Pa. The Mids have outscored its league opposition by a 26-5 margin with 10 shutouts over this span ... In 2008, Navy registered an unblemished conference mark (5-0-2) for just the third time in their 15 years of league membership - 1998 (5-0-1) and 2002 (4-0-3) ... The Mids have outscored league foes 12-2 and registered six shutouts in eight contests this season ... Navy's league dominance has extended into the postseason as well, where the Mids have won seven straight playoff games and recorded five straight shutouts ... Lizzie Barnes has not allowed a goal in five career league postseason games - a span of 455-plus minutes.
Kate Herren's 96th-minute winner against Colgate gave Navy a school-record fourth overtime victory this season. The Mids previously won overtime decisions against UC-Davis (Aug. 31), Bucknell (Oct. 4) and Holy Cross (Oct. 26). Along with Herren, Shelly Moeller, Kristen Laraway and Anastasia Abid have accounted for the Mids' four `Golden Goals' this fall ... The Mids are unbeaten in seven overtime games this fall (4-0-3). The seven extra sessions is also a program-high mark, surpassing the six overtime contests Navy played during the 2000 campaign ... Navy has not lost an overtime contest since the 2004 season (against Penn St.) - a stretch of 15 games (5-0-10). The Mids own an all-time overtime mark of 16-9-25 (.570) ... Six of Navy's 23 career postseason contests (including four NCAA Tournament games) have needed extra time and just one has had to be settled in a penalty kick shootout. During Navy's storybook 2006 season, the Mids advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament against then-No. 20-ranked William & Mary via a 5-4 PK decision.
Home is Where the
Heart Is Mids Dominate
Navy concluded its 13-game regular season home slate at 9-2-2 and following Friday's win over Colgate is now unbeaten in its last nine games (8-0-1) in Annapolis. The Mids now boast a 33-3-3 record (.885) in front of the hometown crowd since 2006. Navy has won eight or more home games eight times in program history, including seven of the last eight years.
Young Enjoying Career Year, Sets School Record for Games Played
Senior defender Carey Young appeared in her 88th career game on Friday versus the Raiders. Young, who earned Second-Team All-Patriot League honors, passed 2006 graduates Meggie Curran and Carmen Myers to assume the all-time school lead. Young, a versatile player who sees time both in the back and in the midfield, has earned 72 career starts - tied for the ninth-most in school history ... Young has played a predominant role in the Navy attack this season. She has a career-high five assists, four of which have come during league action - tying her for the most in the conference.
Six Mids Named Patriot League All-Stars
Navy put a league-high-tying six players on the All-Patriot League Teams. Senior Lizzie Barnes and junior Shelly Moeller were both named to the first-team for the second time in their careers, while Navy captain Julie Reynolds earned second-team laurels for the third consecutive season. Reynolds was joined on the second-team by a trio of first-time selections in seniors Kristen Laraway and Carey Young and sophomore Carissa Youker.
Barnes and Moeller Earn League Player of the Year HonorsRaising the Bar for Student-Athlete Success
On the eve of the conference tournament, Navy's Lizzie Barnes and Shelly Moeller were tabbed as the Patriot League Goalkeeper and Defensive Player of the Year, respectively. It is the second career player-of-the-year honor for each player. In 2006, Barnes became the first Navy player to earn the league's top goalkeeping distinction, while Moeller, then a freshman, took home co-defensive player of the year kudos. Moeller joins former Navy great Nicole Aunapu '99, as one of three players in league history that have captured the award twice. Former Colgate standout Jessica Tuthill collected the honor in 1994 and '95.
The honors keep rolling in for Navy's Lizzie Barnes. In addition to her second league goalkeeper of the year nod, Barnes was also named the Patriot League Women's Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year at Thursday's award banquet held at Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium. Barnes is the third Navy women's soccer player to be named the league's scholar-athlete of the year for the sport and the first since another Navy netminder, 2002 Academy graduate Kate Macfarlane, garnered the laurel in 2001. Former Navy standout and Class of '99 graduate Nicole Aunapu won the honor twice following the 1997 and '98 seasons.
Barnes owns a 3.86 grade point average as a double major in information technology and computer science and ranks 30th in overall order of merit among 1,073 students in the Class of 2009. The 5-foot-10 netminder is also currently one of 10 national finalists for the Lowe's Senior CLASS award, presented annually across nine NCAA Division I sports to a senior that embodies what it means to be a student-athlete.
Fans can vote for Lizzie online at www.seniorclassaward.com/vote/womens_soccer_2008 or by texting WS3 to 839863.
Navy Duo Named Academic All-District Team
Navy's heralded defensive duo of Lizzie Barnes and Shelly Moeller picked up CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District II First Team kudos. This is the third straight year that Barnes has been named to the first team, while Moeller is a first-time selection. The 11 first-team honorees will be listed on the national ballot and are now eligible for All-America status.
A total of 11 different Navy women's soccer players have garnered academic all-district recognition over the years, including eight named to the first team. Moreover, the Mids have now had at least two members receive first-team all-district kudos in three consecutive seasons.
The four-team Patriot League Tournament has brought together three of just 29 active head coaches across the country with 200 or more career victories. Navy head coach Carin Gabarra met the 200-milestone earlier this season against Bucknell to join Colgate's Kathy Brawn (220 career wins) and Army's mentor Gene Ventriglia (261) among this elite group of coaches. Gabarra owns a 16-year career record of 207-102-25 (.656).
News, Notes and Trends:
*Navy made its first appearance in the 2008 NSCAA regional polls this past week. The Mids were ranked 10th in the organization's Mid-Atlantic rankings.
*Navy's 1-0 win in its regular season finale at Colgate was the 200th in the 16-year history of Navy women's soccer ... The Mids now own an all-time record of 201-92-25 (.670).
*Thirteen different Navy players have scored a goal this season, including eight which have netted game-winners ... Nineteen of Navy's 20 active roster members (excluding goalkeepers) have recorded a point this season.
* Only three opponents have found the back of the net more than once against the Mids - Stanford (3), VCU (3) and Holy Cross (2).
*A boisterous crowd of 725 fans cheered the Mids to victory on Friday night against Colgate. It was Navy's largest crowd of the season and the 10th-largest in eighth year of the facility.
NAVY'S PATRIOT LEAGUE POSTSEASON HISTORY
1995 No. 4 @ Bucknell W 2-0
vs. Colgate L 0-6
1996 No. 4 @ Colgate L 0-3
1997 No. 3 vs. Army L 0-1
1998 No. 1 vs. Army W 2-0
vs. Colgate L 0-1
1999 No. 2 vs. Army W 2-1 2OT
@ Colgate L 0-2
2000 No. 4 @ Colgate L 1-2
2001 No. 1 vs. Lafayette W 1-0 OT
vs. Bucknell L 1-2 OT
2002 No. 2 vs. American L 1-2 2OT
2003 No. 2 vs. Colgate W 3-2
@ American W 4-1
2004 Did not qualify
2005 Did not qualify
2006 No. 2 vs. Lehigh W 2-0
vs. Colgate W 1-0
2007 No. 3 vs. American W 2-0
@ Bucknell W 1-0
2008 No. 1 vs. Colgate W 1-0 OT
Navy Postseason Record Breakdown
Current Streak: 7 gm
Holy Cross --
First Round: 8-4
No. 1 seed: 3-2
No. 2 seed: 5-2
No. 3 seed: 2-1
No. 4 seed: 1-3
2008 Patriot League Tournament
Annapolis, Md. - Glenn Warner Soccer Facility
Friday, November 7
No. 1 Navy 1, No. 4 Colgate 0 (OT)
No. 2 Bucknell 0, No. 3 Army 0 (2OT) - Army wins 5-4 on penalty kicks (7 rounds)
Sunday, November 9
No. 3 Army at No. 1 Navy - 1:00 pm - GameTracker Live Stats | Live Video
Tickets: $5 for adults, $3 for children (17 years & under), while students with valid institutional IDs will be admitted free of charge.
*** GO NAVY! ***