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Middies return to NCAA Tournament after quarter century
November 18th, 2013 6:15AM

TAGS:  college men


[NAVY-HOLY CROSS: Men] Navy won the Patriot League with a 2-0 win over Holy Cross for its 14th straight win, the longest winning streak in the nation. The win also sent the Midshipmen into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1988.

"I'm very proud of our guys," head coach Dave Brandt said. "This was important for us. This was an opportunity that we just couldn't not show up for after the season we've had and we absolutely showed up today. This was our doorway into the NCAAs, but it was not the means to an end, it's not the end itself. We aim to be counted in the NCAA Tournament and we have a great opportunity this week."

Senior Geoff Fries scored the game-winning goal in the 39th minute after a counterattack triggered by Patrick Sopko.

"I just started running because I knew Pat could do that," said Fries of Sopko's bicycle kick. "It takes a great touch and he flicked it over and I got through. The keeper started to come up and then dropped back and it was an easy finish."

Navy added a second goal just two minutes into the second half on Joseph Greenspan's header off senior Martin Sanchez's corner kick.

Navy outshot Holy Cross, 18-4, and held a 7-0 edge on corner kicks in a dominating performance. It won its first Patriot League Tournament title after joining the league in 1991. It had been the runner-up three times.

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