The Navy men’s soccer team played to a 1-1 draw against College of Charleston on Sunday night at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.
Jacob Williams (Fr., Millersville, Md.) scored his first collegiate goal in the 71st minute for the Midshipmen (0-3-1) to force the match into overtime against the Cougars (1-2-1).
“Our guys played really well tonight,” head coach Tim O’Donohue said after the match. “We had couple closes chances late, but were snake-bitten a little bit. The guys are playing really and that was a really good team in College of Charleston.
“We fought back and I was really happy with our style of play, effort, commitment and the way we pulled together at halftime. We hit the post twice and it was a great effort by our guys. Now we have to come back and beat Howard.”
Offensive chances came early for both teams as Matt Nozedar forced Ian Bramblett (So., Easley, S.C.) to make an early save just 2:16 into the contest. Navy had its first scoring chance off a corner kick, but Ben Nicholas (Jr., Cornwall, Conn.) — who came on as a substitute — placed his shot just over the crossbar.
The up-and-down affair continued with the first half ending with eight combined shots, five from Charleston and three from Navy. The Cougars had two shots on goal in the half and Joe Alex (Fr., Lockport, N.Y.) notched the lone shot on goal for the Midshipmen.
With 30 seconds left in the first half, Tucker Heffron broke the scoreless battle for the Cougars. Heffron headed in a corner kick from Jake Nicholson to put Charleston on top, 1-0, heading into the half.
Both sides continued to press offensively and the Cougars maintained the momentum from the late first-half goal. Bramblett had to make save just 11 seconds into the second half to keep the Midshipmen’s deficit to one goal.
Navy had a quick offensive spurt with three shots — one headed on target by Bayne Bentley (Fr., Austin, Texas) — in less than five minutes.
In the 71st minute, the Midshipmen finally broke through and tied the match at one. Collin Armstrong (Fr., Vestavia, Ala.) made a strong run down the left wing and beat a charging Treston Kederer off the goal line to the leave net open. With the open goal, Armstrong crossed the ball to Williams who beat a pair of diving Cougar defenders to make it a 1-1 contest.
Navy continued to look for the tiebreaker late in the match as it forced Kederer to make three saves over the final 19 minutes. Despite the high-quality scoring chances for both teams, neither team found the go-ahead goal and the match went into extra time.
During the first overtime period, the Midshipmen held the majority of the offensive chances with Bentley having one shot blocked and another go wide of the post. The Cougars did not a record a shot in the first 10 minutes of overtime to force the game into the second overtime stanza.
Charleston came alive on the offensive end in the final 10 minutes of the match with a shot off a corner kick, followed by a blocked shot. Bramblett also came up with a save to keep the match all square.
Williams had the best scoring chance in the overtime periods in the 109th minute. With the seconds winding off the clock, Matt Nocita (Fr., Porter Ranch, Calif.) jumped up into the play on the offensive end and fed a cross into Williams, but Williams’ header scooted just wide of the left post and the contest ended in a 1-1 draw.
Bramblett finished the match with a career-high five saves for Navy. The Midshipmen also outshot their opponent for the second-straight match, 17-16, while both teams finished with six shots on goal.
For the first time this season, Navy’s opponent held the edge in corner kicks with the Cougars recording seven, compared to four from the Mids. Navy pushed offensively all night and was called for offsides on seven occasions.
The Midshipmen continue their home stretch on Wednesday night against Howard at 7 p.m. from the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility.