BALTIMORE — The Navy football team made plenty of off-season changes, and the early results showed progress as they began the 2019 season with two strong victories.
Then, the Midshipmen ran into trouble at Memphis on Sept. 26.
Memphis rallied from a 13-point deficit in the first half and scored a 35-23 victory over Navy in Tennessee in the American Athletic Conference opener for both teams.
Brady White led the way for Memphis as he finished with 196 yards passing and three scores. Memphis improved to 4-0, 1-0 while Navy (2-1, 0-1) played well at times but could not pull away with a third-straight victory.
Navy quarterback Malcolm Perry had another strong game. He ran for 91 yards and threw for 82 more. Perry also rushed for two touchdowns and threw for a third.
But it was Keoni-Kordell Makekau who paced Navy with a career-best 101 yards rushing. However, that was not enough as Memphis kept coming up with big plays, like a Gabriel Rogers 99-yard kickoff return plus White’s scoring passes.
The Tigers got three straight touchdowns and took command in the second half. Navy did what it does best, keep the ball for long stretches (nearly 39 minutes overall) but that was not enough to stop Memphis.
“I thought we had the game in control during the first half and didn’t have much to show for it,” Navy coach Ken Niumatalolo said. “I don’t think we capitalized on the opportunities we had. We just didn’t finish some drives.
The Midshipmen host rival Air Force on Oct. 5 at 3:30 as they will try to bounce back from this loss.
Men’s Soccer Tops Loyola (Balt.)
The No. 25 Navy men’s soccer team remained perfect with its 2-0 victory over Loyola in a Patriot League road battle on Sept. 28 at home.
Navy improved to 9-0-0, 2-0-0 and now has a 13-game winning streak. That’s the best in the nation after last weekend. Plus, the 9-0-0 start is the best in the team’s history since 1966, and it’s only the fifth time Navy’s won the first nine games.
The Midshipmen shut down Loyola (2-6-0, 1-1-0) and got goals from Nicko West — his fourth goal this season, already a career-high — and Ethan Singer.
“Loyola is a very good team, and that group they have has been together for three years,” Navy coach Tim O’Donohue said. “After we scored, we kind of sat back and got in our blocks and defended. It was not a pretty game but, on the road, on the turf when it is 90 degrees, we did what we had to do to get the win.”
West scored in the 27th minute for a 1-0 lead. Singer made it 2-0 in the 39th minute, putting away a loose ball for the game’s final goal.
Women’s Soccer Takes Ninth Straight, Beats Army 1-0
Carolyn Mang scored a second-half goal that gave Navy a 1-0 victory over Army in a road game on Sept. 27.
Mang, a sophomore from Forest Hill, Md., redirected in a Baseley McClaskey free kick just inside the box. The victory improved Navy to 10-1 overall and 2-0 in the Patriot League.
Meanwhile, Army fell to 3-4-3 and 0-1-1.
“It was a very well-played game,” Navy coach Carin Gabarra said. “I’m really happy for Carolyn Mang scoring the game-winning goal and also playing a great all-around game. We played a tough and disciplined defensive game for 90 minutes.”