WEST POINT, N.Y. - Patrick Letourneau scored the game-winning goal in the 86th minute to lift No. 24-ranked Colgate to a 1-0 victory over Army in a Patriot League men's soccer match Saturday evening at Clinton Field.
Colgate, the top-ranked team in the Middle Atlantic region, remains perfect in Patriot League play with the victory, improving to 6-2-3 (3-0-0 PL). Army, meanwhile, falls to 1-9-0 (0-3-0 PL).
Letourneau corralled a rebound inside the penalty area and scored an unassisted marker, his first goal of the season, to give the Raiders a 1-0 edge with just 4:35 to play in regulation.
The play started when Colgate drew an Army foul just outside the Black Knights' 18-yard line. Shane Conlin took the free kick for the Raiders and drilled a shot into the wall that five Army players had assembled. The ball ricocheted off the human wall to CU's Nick Arpey, whose ensuing shot was saved by Army sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Currens. The second-year net minder was unable to secure the rebound, however, and Letourneau blasted the ball into the net.
Colgate seemed to control the action throughout the match, but the Raiders were unable to get anything past Currens until the very end of regulation. CU held a 15-3 edge in shots during the contest, including a 6-1 edge in shots on goal. Currens made five saves on the night to keep Army close. Colgate also enjoyed a commanding 6-1 advantage in corner kicks.
One of Army's best opportunities to score came midway through the first half when sophomore forward Michael Kim ripped a shot just high of the Colgate cage following a restart.
Army head coach Russell Payne, while disappointed with the result, was encouraged by the effort put forth by his team against a very solid Colgate squad.
"The boys fought hard tonight, and I'm proud of them," said Payne. "A sequence of events, where we didn't help ourselves, led to their free kick, which led to the rebound, which led to the failed clear. The ball bounced there way, and that happens when you help yourself in those situations. You can't just chalk it up to an unlucky play because there is a domino effect that leads to that play happening. I'm proud of them, in terms of their effort. They put it out there and they responded after a tough game last week against American. We're showing that we're still in it. There's a lot of fight in us. There will be until the last whistle of the last game. We have to find a way to put the ball in the back of the net."
Army will return to action on Friday, Oct. 15, when the Black Knights travel to Lewisburg, Pa., to take on Patriot League rival Bucknell University. Kickoff for the conference match is slated for 6 p.m.
Notes: Army's record all-time versus Colgate is now 32-22-5 ... Colgate is 9-0-1 in its last 10 meetings with Army ... the Black Knights have held their last six opponents scoreless in the first half.