Navy Women Soccer Team : The Navy women’s soccer squad struggled in 2022. Their record was eight wins, eight losses, and three ties. They lost 4-0 to Lehigh in the Patriot League Tournament first round. The team lost the annual Star Game to Army, their biggest adversary, 2-0, making problems worse.
Since 1994, the team has had at least eight wins, except for 1994, when coach Carin Gabarra’s second year at Annapolis ended with a 7-9-2 record. Gabarra is focused on her 31st season as a leader and has put the prior season’s troubles behind her.
The Navy wants to win again because all their greatest players have returned. Gabarra dislikes that 2022 season. Our Patriot League squad is generally among the best, so “We didn’t like how our 2022 season went,” she said. They’ve been training hard in spring to improve their weaknesses.
Gabarra seems eager about the season. “I believe you’ll witness a brand new team playing this autumn,” she said, citing the team’s improved defense and mindset. We want the other team to understand Navy women’s soccer by the end of each match.
However, not all Patriot Leaguers are optimistic. Gabarra saw that the early survey suggested the Navy would finish fifth. She uses this to work harder. So, “I don’t think we’ve ever been that low before, and I think that’s a good thing because now we’ll be more motivated to try to get back to the top.” So, “I don’t think we’ve ever been that low before, and I think that’s a good thing because now we’ll be more motivated to try to get back to the top.”
If the Navy wants to improve, they could simplify scoring. Last season, only 22 goals were scored in 19 games, compared to 33 goals per season from 2017 to 2021 (excluding 2020 due to the pandemic). In 2017, 44 goals were scored, a record.
Navy’s offense will depend on 11th-grader forward Alexa Riddle. She scored nine goals in her first year but only one in her second. Gabarra believes Riddle, who was named to the Patriot League’s top team before the season, can improve. Gabarra commented, “She has made incredible progress in her game.”
Riddle will play with junior Amanda Graziano, a second-team All-Patriot League selection. Gabarra believes Graziano is one of the major forwards that may challenge opposing clubs.
Last season, senior captain and team leader Jenna Daunt led the squad with three goals. Her friends and coach admire her leadership. Gabarra added, “It shows her true character, leadership, and athleticism.” Though rare, she is competent in all three. I’m excited to watch her grow in this role.
The Navy’s defense is still strong. Last season, they allowed fewer than one goal per game. Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania-born Mattie Gallagher is the starting goalkeeper for the third year. Gabarra believes she will excel as a senior.
The defense has other great players. Junior Tatum Kelly and seniors Kassidy Borden, Chole Dawson, and Kieffer Williamson. Gabarra believes they can replace many defensive players to perform like attacking guys.
The Glenn Warner Soccer Facility opens the season on Thursday at 7 p.m. The first game is against Charleston Southern. The first of eight non-conference games includes games against Maryland on August 24 and Virginia Tech at home on September 7.
Gabarra will learn a lot about her team’s performance as they prepare for the Patriot League in mid-September. The Navy women’s soccer team is ready to move on from adversity. They have youth, experience, and newfound determination.