HAMILTON, N.Y. - Army clinched a berth to the Patriot League Tournament after battling Colgate to a 0-0 double overtime draw Sunday afternoon to stand 3-0-3 in the conference and share the lead with Bucknell (4-2-0, a 3-2 winner over Holy Cross today), as both teams show 12 points (three for a win, one for a tie).
Lehigh is next with 11 points (3-1-2) following a 1-1 double overtime tie with American in rounding out the three teams this weekend to clinch a tournament berth. Colgate (3-2-1) and Navy (2-2-2) are contenders for the final fourth spot for the Patriot League Tournament, while Holy Cross, Lafayette and American have been eliminated.
Army (12-3-3), picked seventh in the conference's preseason poll, clinched its first berth to the tournament since 2008 and 16th overall. The Black Knights' can claim the regular-season title and tournament top seed with a win over Holy Cross Friday night as Army owns the tie-breaker with Bucknell, having defeated the Bison 2-1 in overtime Friday evening.
The shutout over Colgate was Army's school-record 14th of the season, breaking the former mark of 13 set in 1993 when the Black Knights posted an Academy record 20-1-1 mark.
Colgate outshot Army 13-11, but the Black Knights had the upper in shots on goal with five to just one by the Raiders, along with holding a 5-3 corner kick advantage. Colgate had three shots in the opening half to Army's two, but both Black Knights attempts were on goal with freshman Kim An booting the first early in the half and Deanna Clegg attempting one late.
Army took the first four shots of the second half, two by An, the first on goal and the second hitting the post, along with shots on goal by Lindsay Gordon and Carlie Turnnidge, in outshooting the Raiders 6-5. Colgate's lone shot on goal was a header by Alyssa Manoogian rejected by Army senior goalkeeper Alex Lostetter in the 59th minute en route to posting her ninth shutout of the season and career 29th. Colgate took the final two shots late in regulation, but attempts by Calistia Victory and Anna Baldwin were blocked as the teams headed into overtime.
"In the first half we did not play well," stated second-year Army head coach Stefanie Golan. "We did not come out and get after them, instead we sat back on our heels a little bit too much.
"At halftime we talked about pushing back to put Colgate under pressure and create opportunities. We were frustrated, but then the momentum swung back in our favor for the rest of the game. Anytime you get a point on the road in league play is a good thing."
Colgate held a 4-2 shot advantage in the first overtime with two high, one wide and another blocked, while the Black Knights' back-to-back shots by Marilinh Nguyen and Gordon went wide and were blocked, respectively, over a 36-second span in the final three minutes of action.
Army defender Melissa McLaws received her second yellow card in the final 14 seconds of play as the Black Knights went into the second overtime a player down. Yet they still had opportunities with a corner kick along with a shot before the Raiders had their lone attempt.
Army, currently in the midst of a seven-game unbeaten streak, closes out a four-game league road slate when it heads to Worcester, Mass., Friday evening to take on a Holy Cross team on Senior Night in a key match that will determine the Patriot League's 2010 regular-season champion.
NOTES: Army is in charge of its own destiny as it looks to clinch its fifth regular-season Patriot League title and first since 2002 ... the Black Knights are unbeaten in their six Patriot League game and have allowed just one goal, that to Bucknell in a 2-1 overtime decision Friday evening... the Black Knights have allowed just five goals in 18 matches for a stingy 0.26 goals-against average to rank among the national leaders ...the tie with Colgate is just the fourth in a series that began in 1986, Army's first year as a varsity sport ... the Black Knights show a 2-1-1 mark against the Raiders in the last four meetings.