WEST POINT, N.Y. – Freshman midfielder Alex Jaroscak found the back of the net in the 95th minute to lift the regionally ranked Army men’s soccer team to a 2-1 overtime win against Patriot League rival American on Saturday evening at Clinton Field.
The victory sends the Black Knights, who stand seventh in this week’s National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) Mid-Atlantic Region poll, to 10-1-1 overall and 5-0-0 in the league, while the Eagles, who won the Patriot League regular season title a year ago, fall to 4-6-3 and 2-2-1. With its 10th victory, Army matches its most wins in a season since winning 11 in 1996. The squad’s all-time wins record is 13. The Black Knights’ 5-0-0 start in the Patriot League is its best ever since joining the conference in 1990. The team’s all-time conference wins mark is six.
Freshman back Tanner Vosvick scored on a penalty kick and assisted Jaroscak’s game winner, while junior goalkeeper Winston Boldt equaled his season high of seven saves. Boldt, who entered the match as the nation’s leader in shutouts (9), stands tied with Frank Oprandy ’89 and Lucas Rice ’93 for first on the program’s all-time shutouts list.
Senior back Cristobal Soto scored on a penalty shot in the 54th minute for an American side that was picked to finish first in this year’s Patriot League Preseason Poll. Senior goalie Billy Knutsen made three saves.
Both sides had chances early on in the match, but the first dangerous opportunity came in the 22nd minute when Army senior midfielder Jason Lewis took a shot from about 30 yards out that Knutsen deflected straight up in the air. Freshman forward Nick Williams followed up with a strike just five seconds later, but was denied by the Eagle goalkeeper at the right post. Boldt staved off a dangerous American opportunity in the 29th minute, punching away a right-side corner kick from Eagle freshman forward Joe Iraola to keep the game level at 0-0. The Black Knights held an 8-7 advantage in shots as the first half came to an end.
American freshman forward Michael Cherry directed a hard shot at the Army net 6:13 into the second period, but was stopped by Boldt to keep the contest scoreless. The visitors were awarded a penalty in the 54th after a hand ball was called against the Black Knights in their own 18-yard box. Soto stepped up and planted the ball into the bottom right of Boldt’s net to put his team ahead, 1-0. Army was given a penalty following a foul in the box by American in the 77th minute, and Vosvick buried the chance for his second successful penalty shot in as many games. Boldt made diving stops to his right side on shots by Iraola and freshman forward Dale Ludwig in the 84th and 88th minutes respectively, to keep the Eagles from netting the go-ahead goal.
An attempt by Lewis was blocked by American just 24 seconds into the overtime period before Jaroscak received a pass from Vosvick at the edge of the six-yard box and beat Knutsen on the left side in the 95th minute.
The Black Knights are on the road Tuesday, Oct. 22, when they face a Central Connecticut State team ranked eighth in the current NSCAA North Atlantic Region poll. The non-conference match is scheduled for 7 p.m.
Match Notes: Army moves to 3-10-1 all-time versus American, earning its first win over the Eagles since 2006 … junior Winston Boldt tied his season-high with seven saves while notching his 10th victory of the year … the Black Knights last started 10-1-1 in 1975 … Army’s 5-0-0 conference start marks its best since joining the Patriot League in 1990.