WEST POINT, N.Y. - A penalty kick in the final 17 seconds sailed over the top of the net and with it went Army's hope of staying a contender for a Patriot League Women's Soccer Tournament berth as Colgate clinched it instead following a 2-1 victory Sunday afternoon at Clinton Field.
The Raiders (8-6-3, 4-1-1 PL) scored a pair of unanswered goals after Deanna Clegg tallied on a breakaway just 13:31 into the match to give Army an early 1-0 lead. Anna Baldwin tied the game 1-1 on a header with six seconds left to halftime, then late in the game Alyssa Manoogian snapped the tie when she drilled a 16-yard shot into the right side of the Army net to give Colgate a 2-1 lead in the 82nd minute.
Army, outshooting Colgate 12-9 in the second half, had three shots over the final 5:50. The first was blocked, another was high along with a save by keeper Ashley Walsh, who made all five stops over the final 45 minutes.
With the game winding down and Army keeping the ball in the Colgate zone, the Raiders were called for a foul at the 89:43 mark when Army freshman Paige Alexander was tripped in the penalty area. Senior midfielder Liz Betterbed drew the penalty kick assignment, but her shot was high and went over the top of the net. The loss dropped Army out of contender status as the Black Knights slipped to 1-4-1 in the league and 6-10-2 overall
"Liz is our go-to-player in situations like that," commented coach Stefanie Golan. "She feels confident doing it and when she steps up, you are going to let her do it. It was unfortunate that she missed, but she will probably be the one who scores the game winner next weekend.
"We did a great job today, but we have had a little bit of trouble with game management all year where we give something up at an inopportune time. But up to that point, we were definitely in control of the game and that feels good. Give credit to Colgate, however, because they came out in the second half and they put us under a lot of pressure as well. It was a battle and we were unfortunate to be on the losing side today."
Clegg took the first three shots of the game with the first two high and wide before connecting for her third goal of the season following a pass from Betterbed. Both teams' lone shots on goal in the first half were converted.
With the score tied 1-1 in the second half, Walsh bobbled a shot by Clegg but quickly smothered it just before Candice Bryan, who was by the near right post, could get a foot onto it in the 56th minute .
In the 77th minute, Ashleigh Sheets had beaten her defenders and was headed to the goal but fell short of catching up to the lead pass.
Army will close out its 2009 season hosting Holy Cross Saturday evening on Senior Night at Clinton Field. It will be the final game for seniors Liz Betterbed, Kaitlin Ellison, Brittany Fearnside, Caitlyn Gallagher and Christine O'Leary.
NOTES: The field has been set for the Patriot League Women's Soccer Tournament. While the host site has yet to be determined, all four participating teams (American, Bucknell, Colgate and Navy) clinched their spots with wins this weekend. American earned its berth with its Friday win over Lafayette, while Bucknell clinched with Thursday night's victory over Army. Navy defeated Lehigh and Lafayette this weekend while Colgate defeated Holy Cross and Army. Bucknell leads the Patriot League with a 5-1 record and 15 points. Colgate and Navy are tied for second with 4-1-1 records and 13 points, while American (who lost to Lehigh, 2-0 on Sunday) fell out of a tie for first into fourth place with a 4-2 mark for 12 points. First time since 2006 that Army missed qualifying for the league tournament. The Black Knights have participated in 14 of 19 tournaments. Lehigh (2-2-0), Army (1-4-1), Holy Cross (1-4-1) and Lafayette (0-6-0) have been eliminated.