Oct. 20, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
It will be crunch time this weekend in women's soccer, and Army will be among the eight teams jockeying for a Patriot League Tournament berth (top-four at the conclusion of the regular-season earn spots) with a pivotal road swing to Navy and American. The Black Knights and Midshipmen meet under the lights Friday evening in the "Star" game followed by American in a noon game on Sunday.
The Black Knights (9-2-4, 2-0-2 PL) are tied with Colgate (2-0-2 PL) for second place in the league standing with eight points. Navy (1-2-1 PL) is in fifth place in the conference standings with four points, and three behind fourth place held by defending tournament champion Lehigh (2-1-1). American (1-3-0 PL), tied for sixth place with Bucknell (1-3-0 PL) with three points, is coming off its first league win, a 1-0 decision over the Bison last weekend.
Lafayette, the surprise of the league after being picked seventh in the preseason poll, is in first place with an unbeaten 4-0-0 mark and can wrap up a berth this weekend with a win over Colgate Friday night or a Navy loss to Army. The Raiders will also be looking to enhance their tournament chances when they take on the Leopards and Lehigh.
Army will take each game one at a time, but a sweep this weekend would clinch a berth for the preseason favorite Black Knights, giving them a total of 14 points (three for a win, one for a tie).
ARMY NOTES: The Black Knights are in the midst of a six-game unbeaten streak that began Sept. 18 with a pair of 1-0 non-league wins over Howard and Marist. Army opened league play with a 2-0 win over Holy Cross, tied Colgate 1-1 (2OT), defeated Bucknell, 1-0, and battled Lehigh to a 0-0 double overtime draw last week.
Army broke back into the NSCAA Regional rankings this week, grabbing the 10th spot in the Mid-Atlantic Region where Lafayette lists eighth.
Nationally, Army continues to rank among the nation's toughest team to score on, listing fourth in shutout percentage (.733) and save percentage (0.92), and fifth in goals-against average (.378). The Black Knights are 36th in won-loss-tied parentage (.733) among the 330 ranked schools.
Individually, senior goalkeeper Monica Lee lists sixth in GAA (0.378) and save percentage (.919), with sophomore Kim An ranked 27th in game winning goals (4.0).
Army has recorded 11 shutouts this season, five shy of last year's school-record 16, and has given up just one goal, that a penalty kick, in its last six outings that included four overtime periods.
An, the league's preseason Offensive Player of the Year, is tied for the league's lead in goals with seven, shares second place in points (15) and shots (39), and is ranked first in game winners (four).
Lee lists first in GAA, save percentage and shutouts (11), and is second in saves (68). Helping lead Army's stingy defense, that has allowed just six goals this season, are sophomores Molly McGuigan, (league's preseason Defensive Player of the Year) Katie Wacker (inj.) and Jaclyn Kalik, along with freshman Madison Oliver.
In conference matches, Lee shows an 0.22 GAA after allowing just one goal (PK) in 400 minutes along with three shutouts in four matches for a 2-0-2 record. Errin Helbling tops Army in conference play in goals where she is tied with three others for second place with two.
ARMY-NAVY SERIES: Navy holds a slim 10-9-2 lead in a rivalry that is like no other. In the previous 21 meetings, 12 games were one-goal decisions (including last year's 1-0 edging of Navy at West Point) with the Black Knights on the winning end nine times. Only one game in the series has been decided by more than two goals.
Last year, Army posted its first win over the Midshipmen at home since 2004 with a 1-0 win in a game covered on the FOX Soccer Channel at Clinton Field.
Navy holds a 6-4-0 advantage at Annapolis with Army last's win in 2008 (1-0 2 OT) when the Black Knights defeated the top-seeded Midshipmen in the championship finals of the Patriot League Tournament for its second title and first-ever NCAA bid.
The Black Knights will be looking to post their first regular-season league win in Annapolis, Md., since 2005. The Midshipmen won in 2007 (2-0) and 2009 (2-0). There have been 15 shutouts in the series, including a tie, and Navy has won eight and Army six.
ARMY-AMERICAN SERIES: The Eagles dominate the series, posting five wins to Army's one, but five other games have ended in a draw (5-1-5). The teams have battled to ties in three of the last four meetings, including last year's 0-0 double overtime draw at West Point.
Army's lone win in the series was a 2-1 victory over the Eagles at Clinton Field in 2002, the second year of the series. The Black Knights will be looking for their first-ever win at American where they show a 0-2-2 mark.
NAVY NOTES: The Midshipmen, picked third in the league's preseason poll, opened conference play edging American 3-2. Navy suffered back-to-back 1-0 losses to Lafayette and Lehigh followed by a 1-1 2OT draw with Colgate last weekend. The Midshipmen are 8-5-3 overall and 1-2-2 in the league where they rank fifth, three points behind fourth-place Lehigh (2-1-1).
Navy ranks second in the league in goals (20) with Army just one behind with 19, but the Midshipmen have allowed 15 goals and Army has given up only six. In league games, the Black Knights have allowed just one goal (PK) and Navy has surrendered five.
Paloma Perez, Ashlynn Soellner, Sam Newhaller and Caprice Kelty have scored three goals each to lead the Midshipmen, with goalkeeper Alex Lopez-Shaw showing a 0.88 GAA.
AMERICAN NOTES: American concludes the home portion of its schedule this weekend when it hosts Holy Cross on Friday and Army on Sunday, which also marks Senior Day at Reeves Field.
American (5-10-1, 1-3-0 PL) is coming off a 1-0 victory over Bucknell last Sunday to earn its first Patriot League win of the season. With the victory, the Eagles (picked sixth preseason) moved into a tie for sixth place in the conference with three points, four points behind fourth-place Lehigh.
The Eagles enter the matchup riding a nine-match unbeaten streak against the Black Knights, recording a 4-0-4 record since 2003 to lead the all-time series 5-1-5.
American is led by Jasmin Mohandesi and Carleigh Morba with three goals each, while goal-tending duties have been split between Arianna Efstathiou (1.55 GAA) and Klare Lazor (1.60, GAA with three shutouts). The Eagles have scored 13 goals this season and have given up 26, while scoring four goals in league games and yielding six for a 1.42 team GAA.
HOW TO FOLLOW THE ACTION: The Army-Navy game will be video streamed live (subscription based) on the internet along with live stats at Navy's athletics web site ( www.gonavy.com). The game at American will be broadcast on Eagles Vision TV: www.AUeagles.tv.