COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Sophomore Gabby Galanti broke a 0-0 tie with her first goal of the season in the 71st minute to lift the No. 15 University of Maryland women’s soccer team to a hard-fought 2-0 win over Navy Sunday night at Ludwig Field.
Senior Hayley Brock scored the insurance goal in the 82nd minute to give the Terps a 4-0 mark to open their 2013 season. The Midshipmen dropped to 2-2-0 on the season with the loss.
The two teams battled throughout the night, but Maryland was finally able to break through the Navy defense and end the scoreless struggle when sophomore Riley Barger played a ball forward to junior Cory Ryan. She then threaded a pass through a pair of defenders which Galanti ran onto with just Navy goalkeeper Elizabeth Hoerner to beat. Hoerner came off of her line to play the ball, but Galanti got there first and went around Hoerner to the left side of the goal. With little angle, Galanti expertly finished with a shot that hit the inside of the right post and off the underside of the crossbar to give the Terrapins a 1-0 lead.
Not comfortable with just a 1-0 lead, Maryland continued to pressure the Midshipmen. The insurance goal nearly came in the 75th minute when Ryan nearly had a goal of her own after taking a great pass from senior Megan Gibbons, but her effort went wide of the net.
The insurance tally did come in the 82nd minute on Brock’s sixth goal of the season. Once again it was Gibbons starting the play, sliding a pass into Brock inside the Navy 18. Brock shook free of two defenders before blasting a low shot past Hoerner into the lower left corner of the Mids’ goal.
Maryland looked to have a 3-0 lead in the 87th minute when sophomore Ashley Spivey got behind the Navy back line and had a 1v1 opportunity with Hoerner, but the Navy keeper made a daring play coming off of her line to smother Spivey’s shot as it left her foot. Junior Shade Pratt came sprinting into the play and had a shot off the rebound, but Hoerner was right there to block the shot as it left Pratt’s foot.
The first half was scoreless, but both teams had quality chances to break though, beginning in the fourth minute when Terrapin freshman Lauren Berman got on the end of a cross from Gibbons, but her header sailed wide left of the goal.
Spivey had the next chance, driving down the left side in the sixth minute and getting past Navy defenders. Hoerner came out to cut down Spivey’s angle and her shot went just right of the net.
Berman continued to work for the Terps and picked off an errant Navy pass in the 25th minute. She pushed the ball down the left side and played the ball into the Midshipmen 18 for Brock, but Hoerner made a sliding stop to keep the game scoreless.
Maryland’s next chance came in the 31st minute when a loose ball off of a corner kick found the feet of Barger, who ripped a shot from 25 yards that skimmed over the top of the crossbar.
Navy’s best chance of the opening half came in the 33rd minute after Maryland sophomore Erika Nelson was whistled for a foul just outside the Maryland 18. Navy’s Rachel Hunter sent the free kick around the Maryland wall, but her effort also went just high of the crossbar.
“I'm really proud of our team’s effort and performance tonight,” said Maryland head coach Jonathan Morgan. “We just played a good soccer team in Navy. They were organized, disciplined and everything else you would expect from an academy team. Navy has some very experienced and talented players and those players presented a lot of problems for our team tonight.
“I loved our team’s response though. It was hot and humid tonight and some of our starters were struggling a bit. We got great minutes from a lot of new faces. I was really proud of Kayla Shea, Sarah Molina, Maisie McCune and Sarah Fichtner. They haven't played many minutes this season but they took advantage of their opportunity tonight and their efforts helped contribute to the win.
“Now it's time to take a day off and prepare ourselves for a challenging trip to California.”
Maryland hits the road for the first time in 2013 when it travels to California for a pair of matches vs. nationally-ranked opponents. The Terrapins will play at No. 23 Santa Clara on Friday, Sept. 6 at 10 p.m. Eastern time. Maryland will then finish its west coast trip with a match at No. 2 Stanford on Sunday, Sept. 8 at 4 p.m. Eastern time, which will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network.