Men’s soccer draw Navy, cannot hold onto lead
Published: Monday, September 17, 2012
Updated: Monday, September 17, 2012 17:09
The Delaware men’s soccer team played Navy to a 1-1 draw Wednesday at Delaware Mini-Stadium.
The Midshipmen dominated possession to start the game and controlled the tempo early on. Delaware used their athleticism against Navy and capitalized on counter attacks, which led to the Hens’ goal. Sophomore forward Kyle Bruno scored his first career goal and gave the Hens an early lead.
“We knew they were going to pressure and fight and run so we had to be patient and knew that if we got possession we could break through,” sophomore goalkeeper Jay Lupas said.
Nine minutes into the first half, Bruno did just that as he dribbled the ball down the left sideline and looked to cross the ball to a teammate. Instead he lobbed the ball into the back corner of the net. As the shot moved towards the net, it floated over Navy goalkeeper Gavin Snyder’s hands, Bruno said.
“I miss-hit it and it kind of floated it in,” Bruno said. “I was thinking ‘Is this really going in?’”
Bruno’s shot ignited the crowd and changed the pace of the game, allowing the Hens to settle down and take a 1-0 lead into halftime. Delaware began the second half controlling the pace and Lupas and the Hens’ defense began to buckle down, but Navy had a continuous attack going.
Navy outshot Delaware 22-12 in the game, and was able to take advantage of their opportunities late in the second half. In the 74th minute Navy sophomore midfielder Grant Valenstein scored on a second chance opportunity in the box.
“There were little things that we didn’t take care of in the box,” head coach Ian Hennessy said. “We got a little bit too confident, lost focus and got punished for it.”
The only booking of the game came in the second half when Navy junior defenseman Martin Sanchez took down Delaware freshman forward Joe Dipre and was given a yellow card.
At the end of regulation the game was tied 1-1 and both teams entered a sudden death overtime, consisting of two ten-minute halves.
Delaware’s best opportunity to win the game came in the second half of overtime as junior defenseman Mark Garrity got the ball past Snyder, but Navy’s defense was able to clear the ball before it crossed the line.
The game ended in a 1-1 draw and although it was not the result the team was looking for, Delaware was happy to have not lost the game.
“Tonight wasn’t our best performance,” Hennessy said. “I am happy that we were able to hang on and get the result.”
On Saturday night, Delaware defeated Columbia 1-0. Junior defender John Dineen scored the only goal of the game and his first of the season. Lupas posted the first shutout of his career, on the heels of his six-save game against Navy.
The Hens’ next game is Tuesday Sept. 18 when they host Seton Hall at Delaware Mini-Stadium at 7 p.m.
The Hens are looking to start playing better and are confident they will start clicking soon.
“We are on the verge of breaking through,” Lupas said. “I think we are about to get it going.”