NEWARK, Del. – Sophomore striker Kyle Bruno’s first-half goal gave the University of Delaware men’s soccer team an early lead and the Blue Hens clung to a 1-1 double-overtime tie with the U.S. Naval Academy Wednesday evening in the home opener at Delaware Mini Stadium.
Delaware (1-4-1), the defending Colonial Athletic Association champion, was outshot by Navy 22-12 in the 1-1 tie. Roberto Gimenez led the Blue Hens with three shots while the Jamie Dubyoski paced the Midshipmen (1-2-1) with six shots.
“It was a great turnout by our fans and I think it was a better quality performance from our guys,” said Delaware head coach Ian Hennessy about the Blue Hens’ home opener.
Only 8:49 seconds in the first half, Bruno used his speed along the left side of the field and kicked a long arching shot over the fingertips of Navy goalkeeper Gavin Snyder for his first career goal, which handed the Blue Hens an early 1-0 advantage.
“We maybe got a little bit lucky,” Hennessy stated about Bruno’s first goal. “I think it was meant for a cross, but it went off the right side and found the way into the back of the net.”
Through the heavy barrage of shots near the Delaware goal, Navy’s Grant Valenstein found a weakness in the Blue Hens’ defense and placed the ball in the back of the net at the 73:15 mark of the second half for the game-tying goal for the Midshipmen.
“There were little things that we didn’t take care of in the box,” Hennessy remarked. “We got a little bit too confident, lost focus, and got punished for it.”
Neither team could find the back of the net during the two 10-minute overtime periods as the game ended in the 1-1 tie.
Delaware goalkeeper Jay Lupas registered six saves in the tie while Snyder tallied three saves for Navy.
The Blue Hens return to action with a road match against the Columbia University Lions on Saturday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. and will return home on Tuesday, Sept. 18 to battle Seton Hall University at 7 p.m. at Delaware Mini Stadium.