WEST POINT, N.Y. – Sophomore forward Kim An’s first goal of the season lifted the Army women’s soccer team to a hard fought 1-0 win over Seton Hall in the nightcap of the Black Knight Classic. Senior goalkeeper Monica Lee made four of her five saves in the second half in recording her third straight shutout as the Black Knights (2-1-1) knocked the Pirates (2-1-1) from the unbeaten ranks.
“Seton Hall is a good team and this is a quality win for us,” noted head coach Stefanie Golan. “Seton Hall and Lehigh (defending Patriot League tournament champions) tied 1-1 in the beginning of the week, so it is a good measuring stick for us early in the season.
“We locked things down defensively, and on the attack we did create a lot of opportunities. Kim (An) scored, but we had a few other opportunities that we are excited about.”
Following a scoreless first half with six shots taken between the two teams and just one on goal, Army scored just over two minutes into the second half on its third attempt of the game when An’s shot from 18 yards ripped the upper left hand corner of the Pirates net. Senior Lindsay Gordon set the goal in motion, crossing the ball to freshman Lara Wilson who forwarded it to An as Army recorded double assists on the play.
The shot was the first of three taken by An in the second half, with two on goal, in recording her 10th career tally and fifth game winner. Gordon picked up her first assist of the season and career third, and Wilson recorded her first collegiate point.
“It was a relief to break the ice”, said An, who led Army and the Patriot League in scoring last year with nine goals. “The past few games there seemed to be a lid on the goal, so now that I got my first goal, it gave me some confidence and now I have to get more.”
An just missed adding an insurance goal when her shot in the 62nd minute went off Pirate keeper Jennifer Pettigrew’s hand, hit the goal post and was corralled as she jumped on top of the loose ball.
“The goalie got a tip on the ball and it hit the post,” added the Army forward, who ripped a shot from 18 yards away. “I should have followed up on it, but when I saw it go off the post, I thought it was going in. I was getting ready to put my hands up to celebrate, but I should have followed it up. I thought it had crossed the line, but it was right there.”
Lee, who was taxed in the second half to preserve Army’s third shutout of the season and her career 10th, rejected a hard shot by Katlyn Shu Ritter four minutes after An scored. She then nixed a dangerous chance with a diving save on a shot by Christina Cinelli in the 54th minute. Lee’s final save of the game came off a header by Ashley Clarke in the 73rd minute as the Pirates outshot Army 13-7 in the second half.
It was great to get the shutout, and I feel we are on our way to matching last season,” said Lee. “In the last 15 minutes, Seton Hall pushed hard and there was a lot of mayhem, but we pulled it out at the end.”
Colgate defeated Stetson, 4-1, in the first game of the tournament behind three second-half goals in snapping a 1-1 halftime tie. The game drew two red cards and four yellow cars as both teams played a man down a majority of the second half. Army takes on Stetson Sunday afternoon in closing out the Classic.
“The first game between Colgate and Stetson was a rough game,” noted Golan. “There were a lot of different things that happened to that game that made it rough. But you don’t travel all the way from Florida to drop two games, so Stetson will be hungry and will want to knock off the home team in the tournament. It will be a tough game for us and a different type of challenge then what Seton Hall was, but we are excited to have a different challenge.”
Colgate takes on Seton Hall in the first game Sunday at 11 a.m. and Army hosts Stetson in closing out the tournament.