BALTIMORE – The Navy football team was looking for a good start to the 2019 season when they took on Holy Cross on Aug. 31. The Midshipmen stumbled to a 3-10 mark last year and hoped for better things in 2019.
The first step proved to be a good one as fullback Nelson Smith ran for three touchdowns, and quarterback Malcolm Perry had a solid day en route to a 45-7 rout of Holy Cross in Annapolis.
Smith ran for 96 yards overall while Perry completed 6 of 9 passes for 103 yards.
While Navy continued to run the triple-option, which is based heavily on the run, Head Coach Ken Niumatalolo wanted to make their passing game better this season. Last year, the Midshipmen were ranked last in Division One Football as they averaged just 72.8 yards per game in the air. Niumatalolo wants to see more improvement in the passing game as he saw against Holy Cross.
“I thought it was a great team win,” Niumatalolo told the media. “I thought we played well…we still have a lot of room for improvement.”
The air attack did not show much in the first half until Perry hit Mychal Cooper with a 44-yard toss in the last minute of the second quarter. Perry ran it in from one yard out a few plays later which gave Navy control with a 24-7 lead.
The running game was still effective, rolling up 428 yards. CJ Williams added 91 of those yards, plus a rushing touchdown, to solidify the Midshipmen’s victory.
Men’s Soccer tops UNC Asheville
Navy got goals from Ethan Singer, Matt Nocita and Jacob Williams as the Midshipmen topped UNC Asheville at home in the season opener for both teams on Aug. 30.
“I liked the way we played…and I think we played much better in the second half,” Navy Head Coach Tim O’Donohue said. “I thought we were more dangerous in the second half, and I thought some of the young guys were nervous in the first half in front of the crowd.”
Williams scored first as he struck a left-footed shot past goalkeeper Jarrett Payne in the 22nd minute to give Navy a one-goal lead. Singer made it 2-0 in the 42nd minute when he took a centering pass from Bayne Bentley and pushed the ball inside the far post.
The Midshipmen added their third goal of the game when Nocita scored on a header in the 62nd minute. At 6-foot-7, Nocita outjumped all the UNC Asheville defenders to put the ball away.
The Bulldogs scored a consolation goal the 88th minute, negating a shutout for Navy.
Women’s Soccer edges Charleston Southern
Reserve striker Hannah Miller scored the game’s only goal in the second half which gave Navy a 1-0 victory over Charleston Southern on Aug. 30. This was the team’s first road game this season.
Navy improved to 2-1 with the win as they dominated the majority of the play on both sides of the ball but could not score until Miller came through in the 70th minute.
“This was a quality road win,” Navy Women’s Soccer Head Coach Carin Gabarra said. “We really had a complete team effort as some of our best performances came from players that started the day as reserves.”
Navy came up with numerous first-half scoring chances but just could not put the ball into the net. Midfielder Carolyn Mang almost scored late into the first half but her shot hit the crossbar and rolled away from the goal line.