We took a trip to Annapolis on Sunday to watch Navy soccer take on Ohio State at the Glenn Warner Soccer Facility, located directly on the water in downtown Annapolis at the United States Naval Academy.
Coming off of a 3-2 overtime loss to a tough opponent in Oakland this past Friday, Navy head coach Dave Brandt and his team were hoping to put in an impressive home performance to improve their record to 2-1-1, going into two straight away games against Longwood and University of Maryland, respectively.
The Midshipmen were dominant throughout the match, and the only thing more beautiful than the waterfront background surrounding the pitch was Navy’s tactical and patient play. In what appeared to be a 4-2-3-1 formation with Senior Derek Vogel leading the line as the lone striker, very rarely was their back line left unprotected against an Ohio State team which preferred a more wide open attacking formation, made up of 3 and sometimes 4 attacking players.
Navy’s 2 holding mids stayed disciplined and patient throughout the match, and could usually be found directly in front of their back line whenever Ohio State was able to win the ball. Navy was also able to drop 10, and sometimes 11, players behind the ball during most of Ohio State’s buildup.
From a defensive standpoint, Navy’s back line- made up of freshman Ericson Bean, sophomore Dylan Struthers, sophomore Thomas Moore, and senior standout right back Michael Parker (from Owings, MD and who attended DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville)- looked strong, compact, and disciplined throughout most of the match. Their outside backs had no problem flying up the wing and joining the attack whenever necessary. Defensively, they were able to deal with whatever Ohio State threw at them, anchored by Senior goalkeeper Jackson Morgan who posted 2 saves, one of them being at point blank range from a wide open Ohio State player within 15 yards.
Navy’s defensive efforts from their back line and holding mids was paired with tidy play from their center attacking mid, sophomore Daniel Zaremba. Very rarely did Zaremba turn the ball over. His vision, movement, decision making, and close touch in traffic frustrated Ohio State for the final 2/3 of the match, after coming on as a sub in the first half.
Things got started off in the 17th minute when striker Derek Vogel was almost handed an opportunity. Ohio State’s center back played a poor pass out of the back, directly to a Navy player, who laid it off for Vogel whose effort failed to test the goalkeeper.
11 minutes later, senior Thomas Shiiba had a wide open look from the left edge of the 18-yard box after a Navy midfielder was able to drive at the center of OSU’s defense and lay it off to him, but his effort sailed over the goal.
In the ensuing buildup for Ohio State, in the 29th minute, #19 Marcus McCrary of Ohio State, who was active and very dangerous throughout the match, found himself with an open opportunity in front of goal. He tried to beat Navy goalkeeper Jackson Morgan near post, but his shot found the outside of the net.
Things started to get chippy around the 34th minute. Senior right back Michael Parker was able to keep the ball while under pressure from an Ohio State player, and was able to win a free kick after some heated physical play. A minute later, Daniel Zaremba, who had just come on as a substitute, drove into the box and appeared to have an argument for a penalty, but the referee deemed the OSU player’s tackle to be a clean one.
It didn’t take Navy long to get on the scoreboard after things heated up. Sophomore Aubrey Jones found the back of the net for Navy’s first goal, after he was played in for an open shot on the left-hand side of the box by sophomore Brock Dudley.
Ohio State was able to earn a free kick in the 43rd minute, but the effort resulted in a routine save by goalkeeper Jackson Morgan. The Buckeyes were then almost able to level the score right before half when #21 Jacob Duska found himself open in front of the Navy goal, but senior Michael Parker was able to deal with it and preserve the first half shutout through the same physical play that he asserted throughout the match.
1-0 Navy at halftime.
In the second half, Navy continued their dominating performance. In the 57th minute, Daniel Zaremba was able to dribble into the box and find himself with a clear opportunity, but Ohio State goalkeeper Chris Froschauer was able to make the save.
Jackson Morgan was able to make a save of his own three minutes later, and an impressive one. Danny Jensen from Ohio State found himself with a wide open shot from 15 yards out, which Morgan stoned from point blank range to conserve his clean sheet. This was a clear opportunity for Ohio State to level the score, one which Morgan denied to give his team a boost in confidence and lift the home crowd.
In the 71st minute, Ohio State were reduced to 10 men when junior defender Tyler Kidwell was sent off after being given a second yellow card on a play in his own box, which appeared to be either an intentional hand ball, or a push on a Navy player.
Navy, as a result, was awarded a penalty kick. Senior Derek Vogel stepped up to take the spot kick, but shot it right at the OSU goalkeeper in a poor effort.
Daniel Zaremba was unlucky to not find the back of the net a minute later, after having a shot in the box which deflected for a corner kick.
In the 76th minute, Vogel made up for his missed PK and converted an open header for Navy’s second goal, assisted by Brock Dudley who posted his second assist for the Midshipmen.
Navy was able to finish off the visiting OSU side in the 82nd minute, when Thomas Shiiba dribbled through a pair of OSU defenders and finished his shot past the OSU goalkeeper to complete a dominating performance by Dave Brandt’s Navy team.
For more information on the victory, including a video interview with Thomas Shiiba, visit the official recap over at Navy’s website.
Up next, Navy will head to Farmville, VA on Friday as they take on Longwood, followed by a tough opponent the following Monday- the University of Maryland Terrapins, in College Park.