WEST POINT, N.Y. - Senior co-captain Kelley Robbins along with freshmen Joey Molacek and Kim An tallied a goal as Army posted its sixth straight shutout with a 3-0 win over Vermont to capture the Black Knight Classic Sunday afternoon at Clinton Field. Junior forward Erringer Helbling was named the tournament MVP.
Army's 6-1 start is its best since 1997, while its shutout streak is the most at the beginning of season since the Black Knights opened 1993 with nine straight blankings en route to winning their first 12 games.
Freshman Ruthie Rosenberger set up the first goal of the game after beating a Vermont defender to a loose ball and sending it across to Robbins who notched her first goal and game winner when her shot landed in the net in the 26th minute.
Just over a minute later the Black Knights added an insurance goal by Molacek on her first shot after entering the game just prior to Army's first goal. Molacek beat keeper Alyssa Kelly on a 25-yard shot on the near side after stealing the ball form a defender.
Caroline Rice tested Vermont's keeper just over a minute into the second half, but she batted the ball away. Kelly also came up with a save on Molly McGuigan's long free kick in the 54th minute just before the Black Knights struck for their third goal of the game.
Freshman midfielder Kim An finished off a ball that bounced in front of her with a 20 yard shot that landed in the Vermont net in the 57th minute to boost Army's lead to 3-0. The goal is her team-leading fifth of the season.
In goal, Army senior Alex Lostetter made a spectacular save in the 74th minute when she leaped high in the air and batted away Jess Herbst' shot into the upper corner with her right hand for her third and final save of the game in preserving Army's shutout. The blanking was her third of the season in moving to 3-1 and her career 23rd.
The Black Knights outshot Vermont 13-5 in both halves with Rice booting a game-high six shots shot with three on goal. Lostetter had one save in the first half and two in the second, while her counterpart made three saves in the first half and four in the second in finishing with seven. The Black Knights held a 5-2 corner kick advantage with four recorded in the second half.
Army outscored its opponents 6-0 in its two tournament games with Helbling, An, Melissa McLaws and Robbins named to the all-tournament team. An scored a goal in each game, Helbling had a goal and assist in the Marist win, Robbins tallied the game winner against Vermont and McLaws played a key defensive role in the shutouts.
Florida Gulf Coast (1-1) finished second, Marist (1-1) was third followed by Vermont (0-2). The Eagles fell to Marist in the first game today, 1-0, but finished higher than the Red Foxes based on goal differential.
It is the second time that Army has captured its own tournament in the six-year history. The Black Knights finished first in their inaugural year in 2003 behind 4-0 blankings of Albany and Siena.
Army closes out a five-game homestretch Wednesday afternoon and will be tested by Ivy League school Brown. The Bears are in the same Mid-Atlantic Region as the Black Knights who are ranked No. 10. Brown has won the last three meetings to lead the all-time series 5-1-0. In last year's game in Providence, R.I., the Bears snapped a scoreless game with 3:42 remaining. Five of the six games have been one goal decisions with Army's lone win a 1-0 home edging in 2005.
NOTES: Army's six wins are one shy of last year's mark of seven ... Kim An's five goals are the most by a freshman since 2008 ... Alex Lostetter's three shutouts boosted her career record to 23 ... she now has 26 combined shutouts which is three shy of tying that record ... 10 freshmen were among 20 players who saw action.