Bulldogs Fall to Midshipmen, 2-1, In Double Overtime Battle Between Military Schools
Charleston, S.C. - The Citadel women's soccer team was downed, 2-1, in a hard fought battle against military rival, Navy (3-2-1) on Sunday afternoon at WLI Field in game two of The Citadel Nike Classic. The loss evened the Bulldogs' record at 2-2 for the season.
Both teams played tough in the first half with stellar defensive play from seniors Hannah Warne, Leah Hawkins and Shanna Couch, who allowed just four shots in the opening 45 minutes. The Citadel kept the ball on their end of the field for most of the first half, but it took almost 24 minutes for the Bulldogs to land their first shot on goal, a 20-yard laser by sophomore Vanessa Aponte that was nabbed by Naval Academy's goalkeeper, Alexes Lopez-Shaw.
The two teams continued to play scoreless soccer until the 44 minute mark when Aponte drilled an unassisted goal to the back of the net to give The Citadel a 1-0 halftime lead.
Tempers flared in the second half of play as the rain began to fall harder in Charleston. A total of four yellow cards were handed out, two to each team, as both sides were playing physical soccer. The Midshipmen were able to handle the ball better in the second half, forcing 14 shots to The Citadel's four, including a 72nd minute deflected goal by Paloma Perez that slipped past goalkeeper Laura Serafino to even the score at one goal apiece.
No decision was made in the first 90 minutes of play, so the teams entered a sudden death, 10-minute overtime period. The Naval Academy was able to maintain possession in Bulldog territory for most of the first overtime, firing three shots at Serafino to no avail as The Citadel defense thwarted the Mids again.
However, Navy would only need five minutes of the second 10-minute overtime period, as Mids forward Ashlynn Soelner squeezed one in off a deflected cross-bar shot. The sudden death overtime goal would end the thriller for the Bulldogs as they fell, 2-1.
"We played some of the best soccer this year in the first half and now we need to work on keeping that level for the full 90 minutes," said Warne.
The Citadel will have a week to rest before heading to Oxford, Miss. to take on Ole Miss on Sept. 12. The meeting between the Bulldogs and the Rebels will be their first in program history.
For more information on Bulldog Soccer, find us on twitter @CitadelWSoccer, Facebook, or visit the official website of Citadel Athletics, www.citadelsports.com.