ANNAPOLIS, Md.- Nearly 24 hours after the Falcons football team sang second to conclude its 23-3 win against the Naval Academy, Air Force women’s soccer followed suit on Sunday afternoon, downing the Midshipmen 1-0.
“I’m very proud of the team tonight,” said head coach Larry Friend. “We beat a very good Navy team that has qualified for the NCAA tournament the last two years.”
On paper, the Falcons were the less offensive team, with Navy outshooting Air Force 17-9, but one good chance was all the away team needed. In the 23rd minute, with Air Force attacking, junior Catherine Bakken settled an attempted Navy clearance. She eventually found Hailey Ramos, who cut behind the left side of the Navy defense. After a couple of touches, Ramos sent a pass back towards the middle of the penalty box, where an unmarked Jenna Rubidoux calmly put away her first collegiate score. The two-player assist gave Bakken and Ramos their first-ever assists as well.
In spite of forcing only one Midshipmen save, Air Force made up for a lack of consistently-threatening offense with energy and physicality. Air Force gave Navy a spirited 90 minutes, with Kayla Milford, Cam Karras, and Jennifer McFaddden all receiving yellow cards. As Navy chased the game for nearly 70 minutes, the scrappiness of the Falcons was necessary to boost the team to a win. Though the Midshipmen recorded 17 shots, only two needed the aid of Cammi Bych, who recorded her second clean sheet of 2021. The victory for Air Force is the first over Navy in over 20 years, the last coming in 1999.
Though there is no Commander-In-Chief’s trophy for Air Force’s women’s soccer team, the Falcons (2-2-1, 0-0) will look to make 2021 a clean service academy sweep when the ladies travel to West Point, N.Y. to play Army on September 16. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 pm MT.
“Tonight, we enjoy the win,” said Friend. “Tomorrow, we get ready for Army.”