Women’s soccer second seed in League playoffs after loss at Navy

Elise Covert, Sports Co-Editor

The Bison women’s soccer team dropped a 2-1 loss at Navy on Oct. 28 in their regular season finale. With the win, the Midshipmen secured the Patriot League regular season title, as well as hosting rights and the top seed in the postseason tournament. The Bison will hold the second seed in the playoffs after finishing league play with a 7-2 record. They earn an automatic bye into the semifinals.

The Orange and Blue got off to a slow start, with Navy controlling possession early in the first half. The Midshipmen got on the board in the eighth minute on a header that got past keeper Dani Kaufman ’20.

“I was disappointed in our performance on Friday night. We played very reactive and allowed Navy to capture the momentum from the start of the game. We need to refocus on being the dynamic and proactive team we can be,” head coach Kelly Cook said.

The Bison struck back with under two minutes remaining in the first half when Kendall Ham ’18 tallied her ninth goal of the season, breaking Navy’s seven-game shutout streak. Ham’s initial shot was blocked by a Navy defender, but she buried a left-footed shot into the top left corner to knot the score at 1-1 going into halftime. Ham sits one goal shy of second place in program scoring records with 38 career goals.

Navy retook the lead in the 64th minute after a scramble in the box. The Orange and Blue could not come back from the 2-1 deficit to break the Mids’ 11-game unbeaten streak. Kaufman tallied five saves in the effort as Navy outshot the Bison 16-5.

“Our only focus right now is Friday’s semifinal game and we cannot take anything for granted as we prepare for the game,” Cook said. “The best part about reaching the championship weekend is past records, game, and performances do not count and the only thing that matters is the present game.”

The Bison will return to Annapolis, Maryland on Nov. 3 for the Patriot League semifinals against Boston University. The matchup will begin the quest for a second consecutive Patriot League postseason championship after the Orange and Blue defeated the Terriers in overtime in the tournament final in 2016.

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