In an entertaining season opener for both teams held at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond, VA, the Navy men's soccer team fell to the VCU Rams, 4-1.
The first half was a back and forth affair, with each team taking its turn dominating possession. VCU struck first at the 8:19 mark of the first half as Juan Monge Solano (Fr./San Jose, Costa Rica) scored on a free kick from 35 yards out on the right side. His shot drifted over Navy GK Gavin Snyder's (So./Severna Park, MD) head into the top left corner of the goal.
Navy rebounded with a goal at the 22:50 mark on a goal by Guy Skord (So./Annapolis, MD). Skord gathered a ball on the right side of the box and shot back across the face of the goal into the lower left corner of the net.
VCU closed out the first half scoring with a goal by Jason Johnson (So./Saint Mary, Jamaica) at the 33:44 mark. VCU's Charlie Ahn (Fr./Oakton, VA) fired a shot that was deflected by Snyder to his left, but Johnson was able to run onto the rebound and fire it into the net for a 2-1 halftime lead.
Although Navy pressured VCU and dominated possession much of the second half, it was the Rams that were able to find the net as Yoram Mwila (Jr./Lusaka, Zambia) ran onto a nice through ball from Joseph Haboush (Jr./Aitanit, Lebanon) and beat Snyder inside the left post at the 80:33 mark. Mwila scored again off a Navy turnover at in the 85th minute to clinch it for the Rams.
Navy head coach Dave Brandt utilzed most of his bench, with 20 players seeing time for the Mids during the game, while VCU only used 4 subs.
Snyder had four saves on the night, while his VCU goalkeeper Josh Pantazelos (Sr./Birmingham, AL) had 3. VCU outshot Navy, 17-10, and held the corner kick advantage, 4-2.
Navy returns to action on Thursday, September 1st, as they host Fairleigh Dickenson in the home opener at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility in Annapolis. Game time is 7 pm.
Men's Soccer: VCU 4, Navy 1
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