CHESTER, Pa. - The Army men's soccer team defeated Navy 4-1 in Army-Navy Cup VII at Talen Energy Stadium on Friday.
"This is such a special event for the boys and the team," head coach Russell Payne said. "I thought it took us a little longer than we wanted to settle down and play. Navy was very competitive tonight and made us work for everything. Our breakthrough goal in the first half settled us down though and gave us the confidence we needed."
The Black Knights (5-6-1, 2-3 Patriot League) were not only awarded the trophy following the win against the Midshipmen (1-10-1, 0-5 Patriot League), but also a star in the Star Series presented by USAA.
Navy finished the game with the slight edge in shots (14-12) and corners (6-4), but Army made the most of its opportunities with a trio of different Cadets finding the back of the net.
"There was a determination in the guys' eyes at halftime and I really didn't have to say too much," Payne added. "We made a couple of little adjustments and you can see in the second half there was a lot of progress. These guys have it in them and I am extremely proud of them. It's the first game this season that we had our whole group healthy and I think it showed. We plan to keep this momentum going."
ARMY HIGHLIGHTS AND GAME NOTES
- With the win, Army now leads the all-time Army-Navy Cup series, 3-2-2.
- The Cadets picked up their 30th all-time victory opposite the Midshipmen.
- The four goals were the most by an Army squad in a game since netting four versus Lehigh on Oct. 8, 2016.
- Army's four-goal output is tied for the second-most against the Midshipmen and the most since netting four on Oct. 20, 2006.
- The three-goal differential was the largest in Army-Navy Cup history.
- O'Shea's multi-goal performance was the first of his career.
- He now has a team-best seven goals on the year.
- Sam Millikan and Bradley Schweickert both netted their first collegiate goals.
- Zac McGraw tallied his third helper of the season and eighth of his career.
- Christian Takaki recorded the first assist of his sophomore campaign.
- Eric Whiteman notched his first career assist.
- Alex Grave de Peralta tallied his second helper of the season.
- Millikan made his first start as a Cadet.
- Grayson Naquin appeared in his fourth consecutive Army-Navy Cup game.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- In the 28th minute, Navy had a throw in that sailed into the box and found its way to Matt Nocita. The rookie tipped the ball to his classmate Jacob Williams and he put a shot into the net for the first score of the contest.
- Late in the opening half, Takaki got a hold of a loose ball in the box and dished it to his right. O'Shea was awaiting the pass and sent a booming strike to the right of the Navy goalkeeper to even the score in the 41st minute.
- Army and Navy remained deadlocked at 1-1 until the Black Knights erupted for three goals over a 10-minute span in the second half.
- In the 64th minute, McGraw headed a ball to Whiteman and he set up Millikan for the score to put Army ahead 2-1.
- Less than three minutes later, the Cadets were awarded a free kick and O'Shea capitalized, sending a strike that deflected off of Navy's goalkeeper and into the net.
- The Black Knights' offensive barrage continued and in the 74th minute, Schweickert turned after receiving a ball in the box from Grave de Peralta and rifled it in for Army's fourth goal of the game.