BALTIMORE – Casey McKenzie took a Jourdan Ziff pass, ran past her defender and scored the game-winning goal on a low, 16-yard shot to give Loyola University Maryland a 2-1 double-overtime win over the U.S. Naval Academy Saturday night at Ridley Athletic Complex.
McKenzie’s goal came at the 105:05 mark in the game, less than a minute after she had a shot sail high from inside six yards. Earlier in the game, she fed a pass to Ziff who put Loyola (5-2-2 overall, 1-0-1 Patriot League) ahead, 1-0, shortly after halftime.
“(McKenzie and Ziff) allow us to press the ball in higher spaces where we want to be, and it allows us to open up defenses when you have some pace,” said Head Coach Naomi Meiburger. “That, couples with some of the veterans that we have on the field give us the possession we want. They slow the game down in moments when we need to slow down and keep possession. It’s a really good combination for us right now.”
Moments before McKenzie’s game-winner, Ziff sent a pass to an onrushing McKenzie who dribbled in on the Midshipmen’s goalkeeper, Dayton Wetherby, from the right side. Navy defender Meghan Hegarty, however, recovered just in time to force McKenzie to shoot high of the frame, preserving a 1-1 tie.
The Midshipmen (4-7-1, 1-1-0) tried to counter quickly, but Morgan Crable headed a Navy throw-in to Mary Theresa Corcoran who got the ball to Maddie Hart in space. Hart carried the ball across midfield and sent a long pass to Maddie Boccio on the left side.
Boccio played a pass back to Alice Regan, and Regan took a quick touch before striking a long pass to McKenzie 30 yards in front of the goal.
McKenzie flicked it to Ziff who immediately touched it back to McKenzie as she started a run to the goal. McKenzie beat her defender and took a hard, low shot from two yards inside the top of the box that went past We`therby’s outstretched hands and inside the left post.
“Strikers are going to get chances, and they are going to miss some chances,” Meiburger said. “You hope that the next one, they are going to make. Casey did a really good job of staying composed in that moment – a really difficult moment for a freshman to stay composed in – and she was able to put the ball right where it needed to go.”
Loyola’s win snapped an eight-game unbeaten streak by Navy in the series. The Greyhounds’ last win against the Midshipmen, a program that has won eight Patriot League regular-season titles since 1998, came in 1994.
The teams played a scoreless first half, combining for just three shots, but Ziff quickly broke the tie in the second.
McKenzie drove hard down the left sideline and crossed a pass to Ziff inside the box. Ziff turned, created space from her defender and shot to the far post for her first goal of the season. The game was her first action during the month of September after an injury.
“It was great to get Jourdan on the field; she definitely adds a different element for us in terms of her athleticism and her ability to finish,” Meiburger said. “She made things happen like you would expect out of a top-quality striker.”
From there, Loyola’s defense kept dangerous chances away from goalkeeper Sumer Rahe for several minutes. When tested, though, Rahe came up with an outstanding stop to thwart Navy’s best scoring chance thus far in the match.
In the 73rd minute, Natalie Dzhandzhapanyan got free near the top of the box and streaked in one-on-one with Rahe. The Loyola goalkeeper came out to challenge and knocked away a shot while diving. Loyola’s defense then cleaned up the ball, clearing it away from the goal.
“Across the back line, Jen (Moutenot), Kelsey (Targarona), Morgan (Crable) and Lexi (Andrews) played very well, and Sumer came up with a big save for us when we needed a big save,” Meiburger said. “I thought they were pretty steady tonight.”
Navy was able to breark through, however, with under six minutes to play in regulation. Clare Macadam touched a ball out from the top of the 18 where Cadie Higginson.
Higginson lobbed a chip shot that floated under the crossbar and inside the left post to tie the match at 1-1 with 5:26 left in regulation.
The score held, sending the teams to overtime where Boccio had the first good opportunity. She took a hard shot from the top of the 18, but it went directly to Wetherby who saved it.
Dzhandzhapanyan had a header go wide for Navy just over a minute into the second overtime, but it was the Midshipmen’s only shot attempt of either extra frame.
Overall, the teams each had eight shots, and Navy had a 6-4 advantage in corner kicks. Rahe finished the game with four saves, and Wetherby made three for the Midshipmen.
Loyola continues Patriot League action on Wednesday, Sept. 28, when it travels to Washington, D.C., for a 4 p.m. match at American University.