Molly Byrnes Lifts Army To 2-1 Overtime Victory

WEST POINT, N.Y. Sophomore Molly Byrnes capitalized on the goalkeeper’s error 5:49 into the overtime period to lift Army to a hard fought 2-1 non-conference regional women’s soccer win over Fordham Wednesday evening at Clinton Field. The Black Knights moved to 2-0-0 with their second win in six days, while the Rams leveled their record at 1-1-0.

Following a 1-1 deadlock in regulation after both teams scored goals in the second half, Fordham took the first shot of the overtime period, but Lauren Bustos attempt in the 95th minute was wide. The Black Knights capitalized on their attempt when Jenna Roberts’ crossing shot from the right sideline was intercepted by Fordham keeper Allie Cacciotti, who dropped the ball.

Byrnes beat Cacciotti to the loose ball, then drilled it to the right corner of Fordham’s net from close range for her first goal of the season and third career tally. 

Trailing 1-0 after Fordham snapped a scoreless deadlock in the 62nd minute on Leah Jerome’s 12-yarder, the Black Knights capitalized on a penalty kick 5:29 later to tie the count at 1-1.  A hand ball infraction against the Rams opened the door for Army when senior co-captain Silvia Longo converted the penalty kick in the 67th minute, burying the ball into the right corner of the net.

Neither team could snap the tie over the remaining 23 minutes in regulation, though both had dangerous chances late in the period. Army’s Rebecca Garcia, the reigning Patriot League “Goalkeeper of the Week,” turned aside a close attempt by Jerome in the 80th minute for her third and final save of the game. The Rams then missed on back-to-back attempts 25-seconds apart over the final two minutes, the first in front of Army’s net going wide and another going to the right. The final shot in regulation was taken by Army’s Pia White, who was cutting down the left sideline, but her shot hit the net instead in the 89th minute.

Army finished with four saves with Garcia making three and defender Elizabeth Costello the other, while Cacciotti frecorded  three stops for the Rams, who outshot Army 20-13 and led 4-2 in corner kicks.

“We were very sluggish in the first half,” commented Army head coach Gene Ventriglia. “At halftime I told the team that the dynamics (the energy) had to pick up. That is what we feed off of  it is what this team is all about.

“I believe that the last goal was the result of that.  We forced a mistake and were right there to capitalize.”

The Black Knights close out their mini three-game homestand when they put their unbeaten 2-0 mark on the line Friday night against defending Conference USA champion Rice.


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