Navy's 1-0 soccer victory over UMBC last night was as predictable as the sunrise.
The Mids (7-4) of coach Greg Myers, who are rounding into form after a mid-September slump in which injuries and illness sent them to three straight losses, were posting their fourth shutout in five games.
UMBC (6-6) stresses an attacking style under coach Pete Caringi, but the Retrievers have had difficulty scoring lately. Last night at UMBC Stadium was the third time in their past eight games they've been blanked, and they were limited to one goal in four other games during that stretch.
Navy's goal came with 65:25 elapsed, courtesy of two seniors. Tim Bourdon carried into the right corner and centered to Jono Halverson, whose uncontested header beat UMBC goalie Bob Mamula to the right post.
It was the fourth goal of the season and 13th of his career for Halverson, a native of Silver Spring who starred at John F. Kennedy High. He was starting his 63rd straight game for Navy, and most of them have been at sweeper. He began pulling up to midfield last year, when he was a first-team all-star in the Patriot League. That was to be his role again this season, before Navy players began falling.
"I think we've finally got things sorted out in the back," said Myers,who won the 235th game in 27 years of college coaching. "We lost three of our four backs in a five-day span last month, and when we played at North Carolina [a 2-0 loss Sept. 20], we started two kids who had never even been in uniform before."
Halverson played the first half at sweeper last night, then moved to midfield in the second half, but Navy lost nothing in the back en route to another shutout for sophomore goalie Doug Williams. The toughest of his six saves came at the end of the first half.
Navy is 2-2 in the Patriot League, and Myers figures the Mids need to begin a four-game homestand at Dewey Field Saturday (1 p.m.) with a win against Fordham to be in position to advance to the four-team playoffs. Navy was upset by Army in the semifinals last year.
UMBC is 3-1 in the Big South Conference, but Caringi thinks back on his 12-year coaching career and can't remember a goal drought like the Retrievers are having. Shawn Miller, last year's top scorer with 13 goals, has been moved to sweeper out of necessity, and UMBC is still looking for a capable target man up top.
"I've tried everything," Caringi said. "I've sent nine players up to attack, we tried four forwards tonight. When we're losing I throw Shawn Miller up there, but he's the best sweeper we've got."
UMBC plays its next four games on the road, including Big South games at Liberty Saturday and Towson State on Wednesday.
Virginia 3, Towson State 0
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Top-ranked Virginia (11-0) set an Atlantic Coast Conference record with its 28th game without a loss.
The Cavaliers scored 4:37 into the game on an unassisted goal by Ben Crawley. Nate Friends scored off a pass from Crawley with 1:06 left in the first half for a 2-0 lead.
Virginia's defense held the Tigers without a shot in the opening 45 minutes.
Rich Pellegrini had four saves for Towson (5-5).
The 28-game unbeaten streak breaks the old mark held by Maryland, when the Terps went 25-0-2 from 1957 to 1959. Virginia is 27-0-1 during this streak.
W. Maryland 2, Washington 0
Seniors Todd Kanellinger (Mount St. Joseph) and Eric Resh (North Carroll) scored, as Western Maryland (5-5) blanked visiting Washington College (1-8-1).
Maryland 3, Mount St. Mary's 1
COLLEGE PARK -- Jeff Stroude, Carlos Corona and Shawn Long scored, as the host Terps (2-7) beat the Mountaineers (4-5-2).
Wesley 2, Goucher 1
DOVER, Del. -- David Krail scored twice, as Wesley (8-3) beat Goucher (7-2-1) in double overtime. Percy Moore scored for Goucher, and Brian Garrahy had 19 saves.