BOONE, N.C. –Sophomore Joey Molacek’s penalty kick in the final minute of play lifted Army to a hard-fought 1-0 win over Appalachian State Sunday afternoon at Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.
The win is the first of the season for the Black Knights, who turned in a strong showing in Friday’s loss to No. 12 Duke, as they closed out their season-opening weekend sojourn to North Carolina with a 1-1 mark.
“It is tough coming off of playing a top 20 team,” said Army head coach Stefanie Golan following Sunday’s win. “You have to dig deep and battle and find a way to keep believing.”
“Having to rebound today after playing a team of Duke's caliber took a tremendous amount of both physical and mental exertion. To come away with that hard fought win against Appalachian State in its season opener says a lot about our group of players.”
Army goalkeeper Monica Lee made three of her five saves in the first half en route to posting her first shutout of the season and career eighth. The senior tri-captain made her final two stops less than a minute apart late in the game and three minutes prior to Molacek’s winning tally.
With the game scoreless heading into the final minute of play, Army’s Errin Helbling was fouled inside the box drawing the whistle from the officials. Molacek drew the nod to take the penalty kick, Army’s first of the season, and capitalized at 88:14.
“Joey stepped up and was able to bury the ball as we got out of Boone with a win,” added Golan. “The team is learning how to win, and winning is not always pretty, but we’ll take it.
“We are excited about this weekend, testing ourselves right away against a top 20 program. A majority of our team has not seen this level before. We did not play a team of this caliber last year. We made adjustments against Duke at halftime and were able to turn in a strong second-half performance against a very good team.”
Army outshot ASU 7-3 in the first half and held an 11-6 advantage for the game, while the Mountaineers led 3-2 in corner kicks. ASU keeper Amy Kolowsky finished with seven saves, four in the first half (as Army peppered the Mountaineers’ goal in the first 20 minutes of action) and three in the second.
The Black Knights make their home debut Friday evening against Central Connecticut State in the second game of a doubleheader with the men’s soccer team, who are making their season and home debut against Marist at 5 p.m