WEST POINT, N.Y. - Freshman midfielder Kim An tallied a pair of goals along with an assist in leading the Army's women's soccer team to a 3-0 non-conference win over Quinnipiac Friday evening at Clinton Field in the Black Knights' home debut and the Bobcats' season opener.
The win is the third straight blanking for the Black Knights (3-1-0) who have registered 303 minutes of action without allowing a goal while outpointing their opponents 5-1 and outshooting them by a 46-27 margin.
An tallied her first collegiate goal which proved to be the game winner after forcing a Quinnipiac turnover and firing a shot from the top of the box that keeper Jillian Kelley was unable to handle just under 17 minutes into the game. It was the first of three Army goals scored over a span of 7:51 in the first 24 minutes of action.
Less than five minutes later, An booted a long pass to Erringer Helbling heading toward the goal and the junior forward beat Kelley one-on-one for an insurance marker at 21:21. An, who had two of her game-high five shots in the first half, closed out the scoring when she struck for her second tally and Army's third goal of the game off a free kick just outside of the box at the 24:36 mark. The Army freshman's final shot of the game at 88:35 just missed the far post.
"Scoring the goals got my confidence up along with staying positive," said Ah at the conclusion of the game. "Sometimes I try too hard, but tonight I let the game come to me. My team helped me out so much; they were amazing and we played great ball. I feel ecstatic and it is the best feeling in the world."
Four of Army's eight shots in the first half where on goal while just two of Quinnipiac's attempts found their way to the net where goalkeeper Monica Lee rejected both. The Black Knights held an 8-3 shot margin in the second half (16-10 overall) with Lee making one save with 13 minutes remaining for her third of the game in recording her second shutout of the season and career fourth.
Army has not lost a game since bowing to Sacred Heart 1-0 in the season opener on Aug. 20. After playing the first three games on the road, the Black Knights opened a five-game home stretch this evening at Clinton Field in their first-ever meeting with Quinnipiac.
"The win was a total team effort," said Army head coach Stefanie Golan. "Before the game we talked about intensity. One of things the players have focused on since the Sacred Heart game is 90 minutes of total effort, and we had that tonight. We talked about the fact that Quinnipiac has a player (Chelsea Smith) up top who has scored 26 goals in two years (No. 11). We knew they could be dangerous, but we talked about us and what we had to do to be successful.
"We had to defend well which we did a solid job overall, and we needed to do a better job taking care of the ball. Tonight there were times we were stringing passes together at their end while playing a lot more calmly and more confident. We created opportunities and finished some. Kim (An) was incredible stepping up, coming into her own and feeling confident as a freshman, which is exciting to see. Erin (Helbling) has been outstanding the entire season and has been dangerous for us in the attacking third."
The Black Knights will look to extend upon their three-game winning streak when they host Manhattan Sunday afternoon. Though Army holds an 8-2 lead in the all-time series that began in 1991, the Jaspers won 1-0 last fall. A win would equal the team's best start since getting off to a 4-1 showing in 2008.
"Manhattan is a good team and a feisty one that will play 90 minutes of ball, but we will focus on us and what we do on a day-to-day basis," commented Golan. "We put out a solid effort tonight and we will have to put out the same kind of effort on Sunday."
NOTES: Freshman Kim An leads the Black Knights in goals (2), assists (1) and points (5) along with shots (10) and shots on goal (5) ... Army has three shutouts thus far with goalkeepers Monica Lee registering two and Alex Lostetter the other ... the Black Knights had three freshmen in the starting lineup tonight along with four substitutes ... the Manhattan game will be carried on ITT Knight Vision which is available to subscribers via Army's official web site at www.goARMYsports.com.