Sept. 29, 2012
WORCESTER, Mass. -
Army outshot Holy Cross 16-5, but the Crusaders tallied the lone goal in the second half and made that stand in taking a 1-0 decision from the defending Patriot League Tournament champion Black Knights in the conference opener for both at Smith Stadium Saturday afternoon.
Following a scoreless first half that saw Army (5-7-0, 0-1-0 PL) outshoot Holy Cross 8-1 with seven shots on goal, the Black Knights dominated the second half by an 8-4 margin. The Crusaders converted on their first shot on goal when Gina Righini launched a shot from just outside the box that snapped a 0-0 deadlock in the 59th minute.
Army opened the second half taking the first three shots of the game on back-to-back shots on goal by Ruthie Rosenberger. After Holy Cross went up 1-0, Army had four shots over the final 20 minutes with two on goal; one blocked with another going wide, along with a pair of corner kicks, but could not finish off its opportunities.
Crusader keeper Carly Mccabe, who leads the league in goals-against average, made 12 saves (seven in the first half and five in the second half) posting her fourth shutout of the season.
The loss to the Crusaders is Army's first series loss since 1995 as Holy Cross claimed its fifth win against 17 losses and three ties. It was the first time that Army lost its league opener since 2006.
"We created some chances and had a lot of shots on target today," commented Fred Thompson, Army's interim head coach, "but not as many quality shots as we would have liked.
"We pressed Holy Cross the majority of the second half and had some opportunities, but we just lacked the finishing touch. It was a good effort overall, we worked hard and worked well, but could not find the right pass, the right shot or the right touch to finish it off. We will regroup now and get ready for next weekend."
Army, opening a three-game road slate, has a tough challenge next weekend when it visits preseason favorite Colgate Friday evening and Bucknell on Sunday.