WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army head women's soccer coach Stefanie Golan earned her first collegiate win and junior forward Candice Bryan tallied her first career goal as the Black Knights defeated visiting New Jersey Institute of Technology, 3-0, during a steady downpour Friday evening at Clinton Field in front of 200 hardy fans.
Senior midfielder Elizabeth Betterbed registered a pair of assists with sophomores Ashleigh Sheets and Deanna Clegg opening and closing the scoring, respectively.
Sheets tallied Army's first goal of the season unassisted when she beat NJIT keeper Sadie Mele with a shot into the lower right hand corner of the net following a rebound at the 7:26 mark for all the scoring needed. The goal was her career second and both are game winners.
Bryan, who earned her first career start in last weekend's season opener versus Maryland, combined with Betterbed on a textbook goal at the 33 minute mark. Betterbed crossed the ball from the left side across the field to Bryan who tapped it in for the insurance goal and a 2-0 halftime lead as Army held a 12-1 shot advantage along with a 3-1 lead in corner kicks over the Highlanders in the first half.
"It was awesome and I was so excited," said Bryan following her first collegiate goal. "I made eye contact with Liz to say 'you have to pass it to me.' It was right to me for an easy finish as I was right on the line."
Clegg closed out the scoring in the second half with her first goal of the season, the third of the game, and her career fourth. After beating a pair of Highland defenders, she dribbled in and booted a 20-yard shot over the keeper's head after Betterbed set that goal in motion igniting Army's counter-attack with her second assist of the game and career fifth.
Army outshot its guest by a 19-4 margin along with holding a 6-3 lead in corner kicks. Eight of Army's shots were on goal with Kelley Robbins, Clegg and Bryan each ripping a pair. Junior keeper Alex Lostetter made both of her saves in the second half en route to registering her first shutout of the season and career total to 17, which is just two off the school's all-time record.
"Overall the conditions were a little rough tonight with the rain and everything," said first-year Coach Golan, "but we were able to settle in and create a lot more opportunities, had some good finishes and we stayed with it a full 90 minutes. It was a hard fought game at both ends."
In the Betterbed to Bryan goal, Golan noted that "Candice started smiling as Liz was lining up to cross the ball to her. She knew it was going to be perfect and it could not have been an easier finish. As a matter of fact Candice told Liz at halftime 'that you made it easy for me.'"
"Liz (Betterbed) did a great job tonight for us," continued Golan. "One of the things we talked to her about were where the space was opening up and the balls that needed to be placed were behind the defense diagonally. She was able to to find Deanna behind the defense and was able to cut back. And it was an excellent finish on Deann's part."
Army (1-1-0) returns to action Sunday afternoon hosting Atlantic 10 member Fordham at Clinton Field. The game will be carried on ITT Knight Vision as well. Both teams opened their season against Maryland last weekend with the Black Knights bowing to the Terps 3-0 and the Rams losing 2-1.
OFF THE PITCH: Army's win over NJIT was its second straight over the Highlanders since last year's inaugural meeting ... both games have been played at West Point with Black Knights outscoring them 6-1 ... Ashleigh Sheets, Lindsay Gordon, Paige Alexander and Janis Shannon made their first start of the season this evening ... Alexander was one of two freshmen in Army's starting lineup, joining classmate Melissa McLaws ... three yellow cards were handed out for the game with Army receiving two ... just prior to halftime, a group of fans wee asked to leave by the head official ... the game was stopped as the official waited for them to take down their tent ... Fordham heads into Sunday's encounter with Army 0-2 after bowing 3-0 to No. 23/22 ranked Rutgers Friday night.