WEST POINT, N.Y. – Tournament MVP Kim An scored twice within a span of nine minutes for a 2-0 first half lead, then assisted on the third goal as Army romped to a 5-1 defeat of Stetson in the final round of the Black Knight Classic in defending its title for the second straight year.
The Black Knights (3-1-1) posted a 2-0-0 round robin mark with Seton Hall (1-1-0), who Army defeated 1-0 the first night, finishing runner-up. Colgate (1-1-0) and Stetson (0-2-0) placed third and fourth, respectively. Army’s five goals are the most scored by the Black Knights since a 6-1 home win over Albany on Aug. 30, 2005.
An, scoring three goals, including both game winners, along with an assist, was joined on the all-tournament team by Monica Lee, Joey Molacek and Molly McGuigan.
“It is great to win, because any time you host a tournament, you hope you will win,” said Army head coach Stefanie Golan. “There were quality opponents in this tournament, and it was not easy to do. We are proud of the girls for the way they competed hard on Friday (win over Seton Hall) and came up with a tough win and then put five goals in the back of the net today.”
“We had some quality goals today. There was a lot of composure, a lot of good combination play and for Kim (An) to come into her own this weekend is huge for us.”
Julia Stallard assisted on the first goal, sending the ball forward to An who blasted a shot into the left corner of the Stetson net at the 10:39 mark. Late in the game, Stallard closed out the scoring when she headed in a deflection off the goalkeeper in the 88th minute. Shifted from a defender to midfielder this year, the goal is Stallard’s career first and the helper is her third and first this season.
After beating Hatter keeper Grace Turner with an 18-yard shot on her first goal, An ripped a 20-yarder into the right side of the net at the 19:46 mark off a pass from Katie Wacker, who picked up her first career assist. An’s second goal proved to be the game winner, her second this weekend, in stretching her career total to six, which is just one shy of breaking into Army’s top 10 all-time list.
“It is a great win for our season,” commented An. “Winning this tournament gave us confidence the rest of last season, and this was a good milestone that we crossed today. After we scored the two goals, you could see there was a little lull, but we recollected in the second half and went out there like it was 0-0 and kept playing hard. No matter what the score is, we play the same, always work hard and play Army soccer.”
Army had two more shots on goal, by Molacek and freshman Jessica Koulabouth, before the end of the first half as six of the Black Knights’ 15 shots were on goal. Though the Hatters did not have a shot on goal in the first half, Alexis Hermosa’s attempt in the 40th minute hit the right post and bounced away.
Stetson sliced Army’s 2-0 lead to one goal in the second half when Hermosa, named to the all-tournament team, gathered a loose ball in front of the net and converted the opportunity at 50:43. Her first goal of the season snapped Army’s streak of three straight shutouts and is just the third given up in five games this season by Lee, the Black Knights’ keeper.
“There was a point after we scored the two goals that we dropped off our intensity and it came back to bite us,” said Lee, who shows a stingy 0.57 goals-against average. “We hunkered down and came back and scored three more. It was a bummer to drop the shutout. It was a good goal by Stetson, but it would have been nice to keep our shutout streak going.”
The Black Knights answered with a goal by Molacek from eight yards into the left corner of the net off an assist from An at the 61:51 to pull out to a 3-1 lead. The goal is Molacek’s second of the season and career fourth, with An picking up her first assist in 2011 and career fourth. Her five points in a game (2 goals, 1 assist) tied the mark she set last year against Quinnipiac.
Army added a pair of late tallies over a six minute span with senior Dee Clegg beating Turner with a 24-yard shot at 82:39 off an assist from Koulabouth, season firsts for both and Clegg’s career eighth. Stallard scored off an assist by Donna Bennett (first of her career) with 1:34 left.
The Black Knights outshot the Hatters 30-8, along with a season-high corner kick advantage (9-1).
Next weekend the Black Knights host the Army Soccer Classic, taking on VMI Friday evening and Sacred Heart Sunday afternoon.
Black Knight Classic All-Tournament Team
MVP – Kim An, Army