Tab Bruner scored on a header early in the second half and Navy's defense was outstanding as the Midshipmen defeated American, 1-0, in soccer today at Dewey Field.
Navy (5-3-1), which has not lost in four straight games, scored at 67:40 when midfielder Dwight D'Iorio crossed a free kick from deep in the left corner to Bruner, who headed the ball into the goal for his second score of the year.
Goalie Jeff Young (seven saves) recorded his second straight shutout, and the back line handcuffed the Eagle forwards. Navy fullbacks also slid into the crease to block three likely shots.
"We've only started playing well defensively recently," said Navy Coach Greg Myers. "But we scouted them well, and it paid off. We were able to keep them from turning the ball on us."
The Eagles (7-3), who have lost two of their last three games, carried play in the first half, outshooting Navy, 7-3. Freshman forward Scott Snyder missed two close-in shots late in the half. Snyder drove a 20-foot shot over the crossbar and had an open-goal attempt blocked by defenders Tom Harrigan and Bob Haskins.
"Snyder was highly skilled, but we were in better condition," said Navy sophomore fullback Ken Walls. "Coach (Myers) has been teaching us not to let them face the goal."
Navy controlled the ball through most of the second half, and almost scored when forward Keith Wauters popped a header from 10 feet over the crossbar at 58:14.
American nearly scored first at 60:20 when Barry Henderson sent a 20-foot cross into the crease. Young jumped and caught it. When he hit the ground, the ball popped loose, but Snyder's follow-up shot from 10 feet was headed away by Mark Barranco, who had filled the crease.
The Eagles pressed for the tying goal late in the game, pulling their entire team up past midfield. Their best opportunity came when they were awarded three straight corner kicks, but Navy was able to block all three attempts.