LONGWOOD FALLS TO NAVY 3-0
FARMVILLE, Va. – The Longwood University men’s soccer team dropped a 3-0 decision to the U.S. Naval Academy (6-5-3), who scored three second half goals to earn the victory on Tuesday evening in Farmville. Sophomore Jonathan Kukapa|Leesburg, Va. (Clarksburg Md.) notched three shots, including two on goal, to lead the Lancers (3-11-3). Longwood will play its final game of the regular season at Big South Conference opponent Winthrop University on Wednesday, October 31 at 7 p.m.
“After a bright opening where we took the game to Navy, we faded somewhat and fell victim to some tireless Navy running,” said head coach Jon Atkinson. The keys to our success will come from converting good possession into chances when we are on top, but currently we are finding this hard to come by and need to find the formula in our last conference game.
“Our playing seniors worked hard tonight and it’s a shame we couldn’t get the win for all the seniors, but we are proud of them all the same.”
Three other Lancers also posted at least one shot in the match. Freshman Zach Corcoran|Martinsville (Martinsville) put two shots on goal, while senior Devin Pierce|Virginia Beach (Ocean Lakes) and sophomore Taylor Evans|South Riding (Freedom) registered one shot apiece on the night.
The teams battled for possession throughout the entire first half, with Longwood taking a slight 5-4 shot advantage in the first 45 minutes of the match. The Lancers had a chance to get on the board in the 10th minute when a corner kick by freshman Rhys Cairns|Washington, England (St. Roberts of Newminster RC School) found Kukapa, who sent a hard shot toward the back left corner of the net, but a diving save by Navy’s Gavin Snyder extinguished the opportunity.
The Navy offense went on the attack late in the half in an effort to break the stalemate before the period expired. In the 40th minute, Jamie Dubyoski took the ball on a breakaway down the right side of the field before firing a shot on net, but freshman goalkeeper Seth Erdman|Hummelstown, Pa. (Lower Dauphin) made a strong save, allowing the Lancers to clear the ball out of their defensive zone and send the teams into the break knotted at 0-0.
Coming out of halftime, Navy took control of the momentum, taking a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute when Thomas Shilba gained possession of the ball, dribbled around defender and sent a shot skidding by Erdman to lower right corner of the net.
Longwood answered with an opportunity to tie the game in the 53rd minute, as freshman Will Lambert|Charlottesville (Monticello) lobbed a deep pass to Corcoran in front of the net for the one-timer, but the Midshipmen goalkeeper turned away the attempt to maintain the one-goal lead for his squad.
Navy added two insurance goals in the latter part of the second half. The first came in the 68th minute when Eric Skogerboe sent a cross to the top of the box where teammate Grant Valenstein launched a shot past the outstretched fingers of a jumping Erdman to make it a 2-0 game. Dave Arnold followed with an unassisted goal from the right side of the box in the 83rd minute to score the Midshipmen’s final goal of the night, sealing the 3-0 victory.
Navy outshot Longwood, 15-7, in the contest and had a 4-2 edge in corner kicks. Tuesday’s match marked the fifth meeting ever between the Lancers and the Midshipmen in the sport of men’s soccer. Longwood still holds a slight, 3-2 advantage in the all-time series.
Seniors Evan Jones|Midlothian (Midlothian), Vinnie Llana|Raleigh, N.C. (Broughton), Patrick McDaniel|Midlothian (Cosby), Devin Pierce, Adel Sarras|Burke (Annandale) and Mike Tegler|Stafford (North Stafford) were recognized in a special pregame ceremony.