Oct. 7, 2011
EASTON, Pa. -
Solid defending and an opportunistic goal from Janelle Pierson in the 16th minute propelled Lafayette past Navy at Oaks Stadium on Friday night. The Leopards 2-0 mark in Patriot League play ties the best league start in program history, set in 2001.
“This was a big win for us against an excellent Navy team,” head coach Mick Statham said. “I’m very proud of the way the players applied themselves over the 90 minutes. The goal was something special. It was a terrific pass from Alex and a great finish from Janelle. I also thought Bridget Becker was instrumental in our performance.”
Lafayette (7-3-1, 2-0-0 Patriot) capitalized on its lone first half scoring chance, which was set up by a perfect chip over the top of the Navy defense by Alex Reisinger. Pierson ran onto the ball, took one touch inside the penalty area and slid a shot into the right side of the goal past Mids goalkeeper Alexes Lopez-Shaw, giving Lafayette a 1-0 lead 15:30 into the match. Prior to Pierson’s second goal of the year, the Midshipmen (8-4-2, 1-1-0 Patriot) controlled the play in the Leopards defensive half.
Navy’s best scoring chance in the first frame came with less than five minutes to play until halftime. A cross was sent into the box and tipped by Lafayette keeper Lauren Smedley into a group of players just outside the six-yard box. Sam Lee got a foot on the loose ball and directed it on goal before it was cleared off the goal line by Gina Milone, preserving the 1-0 advantage.
The score stood up through the final 45 minutes as Smedley made three saves in the half. The junior keeper totaled four saves in the shutout for Lafayette, earning her sixth clean sheet of the season and 18th of her career. On the other side, Lopez-Shaw made one stop in the contest.
Navy outshot the Leopards in the match 10-4, but Lafayette held the slight edge in corner kicks 5-4.
In addition to the best Patriot League start, the win was the first for the Leopards against Navy since Sept. 26, 1993.
Lafayette returns to the field on Sunday when it hosts American in Patriot League action at Oaks Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.