Navy had been away from the NCAA Tournament for 25 years but didn't show any ill effects from the layoff, getting three goals in an eight-minute
span en route to a 3-0 win at VCU -- the Midshipmen's 15th win in a row this season.
Senior midfielder Martin Sanchez
has usually been the provider
with 10 assists this season, but he opened the scoring with his second goal of the season in the 68th minute, and junior Geoff Fries
followed with goals in the
71st and 76th minutes.
Fries also scored the game-winning goal in Navy's Patriot League championship win over Holy Cross Sunday and has scored all three of his goals this season in
the past two games.
"The first goal was always going to be big," Navy coach Dave Brandt
said. "It gave us some opportunities to go forward and we
were glad to get a couple others to put the game away. VCU is very athletic and very technical. When you put two teams like that together you will have an exciting game."
Navy was playing
in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1988 and won its first NCAA Tournament game since 1971. The 15-game win streak is the longest active winning streak in the NCAA Division I ranks.
Navy will play at Wake Forest on Sunday in their first-ever meeting.
"We've been focusing on taking everything one game at a time," said Brandt. "It takes discipline to do that. I
think that's one thing this team has been able to do well, to just look at the next game and play it as it comes."