WORCESTER, Mass. - Sophomore goalkeeper Michal Fiuk turned aside six shots, including two in overtime, to earn his first career shutout and help Army post a 0-0 double overtime tie at Holy Cross in a Patriot League men's soccer contest Saturday afternoon at Smith Stadium.
Holy Cross (3-10-5, 0-4-3 PL) outshot Army 12-9 in the contest, but the Black Knights (3-12-2, 0-5-2 PL) enjoyed a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks. Army was awarded three corner kicks in the overtime action, but the Black Knights were unable to convert any of them.
"For us, the 0-0 tie is a good indication of the strides we've made this season," said first-year Army head coach Russell Payne. "We finished the job tonight and got a point in a Patriot League road game. Earlier in the season, we found a way to lose games like this, but we hung on and got the tie tonight. We took positives out of the game instead of just accepting a loss."
Sophomore forward Michael Kim led the Army offense with a game-high four shots, including one of the Black Knights' two shots on goal. Kim accounted for both of Army's shots in overtime, including one attempt that struck the crossbar and caromed away.
Sophomore midfielder Mitch Johnson added two shots for the Black Knights, who compiled a 2-1-2 mark over their final five contests.
"Our goal this season was to change the attitude and culture of this program as a whole, in terms of the dedication and detail and how hard we work," added Payne. "I think the last five games is a good indication of where we're going, and it shows the guys what they can get done if they work at it. I am happy with the direction of the program, and I know we're going to build on it."
Jon Werth paced the Crusaders' offense with three shots, while Kyle Miller was credited with a game-high two shots on goal. Holy Cross goalkeeper Evan Polanik stopped two shots to pick up his fifth shutout of the season.
Today's contest marked the final match for Army seniors Michael Chere, Sean Kim, Michael Leach, Thomas Kendall, Ernest Whitaker and Daniel Yu.
"I am so appreciative of the leadership and dedication shown by the seniors this season," said Payne. "Their legacy is firmly in place as the first group of guys to help get this turned around."
Notes: Army is now 27-15-13 all-time versus Holy Cross ... today's match served as the season finale for both squads as neither Army nor Holy Cross qualified for the 2010 Patriot League Tournament ... this afternoon's tie snapped a three-game series win streak for the Crusaders ... Army finishes the 2010 season with three shutouts, the highest single-season total since the 2007 squad posted six blankings ... Army's season-ending stretch of 2-1-2 marked the program's best five-game record since ending the 2007 season by going 3-2-0 in its final five matches ... Army compiled a 0-4-2 record in overtime games this season.