Oct. 27, 2011
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
The Army women's soccer team, earning its second straight berth to the Patriot League Tournament with its 3-0 blanking of American last weekend, closes out its regular season Sunday afternoon hosting Lafayette on Senior Day. The Black Knights, joining the Army men in a conference doubleheader, play the first game at 1 p.m. followed by the 3:30 nightcap.
Seniors Dee Clegg, Lindsay Gordon, Errin Helbling, Monica Lee and Julia Stallard will be honored in a ceremony prior to the game, along with a halftime show that will pay tribute to Army's Silver Anniversary Team.
Army, Lafayette and Colgate clinched three of the four berths to the Patriot League Tournament last weekend, but hosting and seeding comes into play this weekend. The Raiders took over first place in the standings with a 4-0-2 mark for 14 points (three points for a win, one for a tie) after handing the Leopards their first league loss in a 2-0 defeat last Friday followed by a 2-1 edging of reigning tournament champion Lehigh. Lafayette lost hold of first place when it suffered its second straight loss in a 2-1 overtime defeat to Bucknell two days later to slip into second place with a 4-2-0 mark for 12 points.
The Black Knights went 1-1-0 last weekend, suffering their first league loss since 2009 when they fell to Navy, 3-2, last Friday. Army rebounded with a 3-0 win over American two days later for its first decision over the Eagles since 2002 and second in the series. The Black Knights head into Sunday's tilt in third place in the league standings with a 3-1-2 mark for 11 points, one point behind second place Lafayette and three off leader Colgate.
Colgate can clinch tournament top seed and hosting duties with a win over an American team (1-4-1) that has already been eliminated from the playoff picture. A loss by the Raiders or a tie Saturday night opens the door for Lafayette in its match against Army on Sunday. A win by the Leopards in that scenario gives them top seed, but the Black Knights are not about to let that happen.
If Colgate losses and Army wins, the two teams tie for first place in the regular-season standings with 14 points, but the tie-breaker would go to the Raiders with the Black Knights seeded second.
The fourth and final berth will also be determined Saturday afternoon between Navy (3-1-2, 10 points) and host Bucknell (3-3-0, nine points). The Bison, who co-shared last year's regular-season title with Army, put themselves into contender status with wins over Lehigh (1-0) and Lafayette (2-1 OT) last weekend. Navy, coming off wins over Army and Holy Cross (3-0), has the edge as the Midshipmen can get into the tournament with either a win or a tie.
ARMY NOTES: The Black Knights continue to rank among the nation's defensive leaders, listing fifth in shutout percentage (.706) and save percentage (.898) and 12th in goals-against average (0.503). Army leads the conference in shutouts, overall (12) and league matches (four). The Black Knights also lead the league in GAA (0.50) and fewest goals allowed (nine).
In the six league matches, Army and Colgate are tied for first in fewest goals allowed (four) and goals-against average (0.62).
Senior Monica Lee ranks 10th nationally in save percentage (.895) and is 12th in GAA (0.503). She leads the league in both along with shutouts (12), and is tied for second in saves (77). Lee moved in to second place on Army's all-time chart for shutouts with 19, along with breaking into the league's top 10 list. In six league games, Lee shows a 0.62 GAA, along with four shutouts.
Kim An, the Patriot League's preseason Offensive Player of the Year, tied the mark of nine goals she set last year after tallying a goal in both games last weekend to lead the league for the second straight year. Her 18 career goals are just one shy of the Black Knights' all-time top 10 list. She currently ranks 65th nationally in goals per game (0.56), while in the league's statistics, she is the leader in game winners (four), stands second in points (19) and third in shots (47).
In league games, An is tied for second in goals (three) with Ruthie Rosenberger and Helbling sharing sixth place with four others with two goals each. Helbling is second in shots (19) and An is tied for third in points (six).
Army's has yielded just nine goals in 17 games this season, while its 24 goals scored broke last year's mark of 23 and are the most since tallying 35 in 2005.
Five players have multiple goals among the nine players who have scored, and five have accounted for Army's nine goals in conference matches. In addition to An's nine tallies, Helbling, Joey Molacek and Rosenberger have scored three goals each, along with a pair of goals by Clegg. Stallard leads the team in assist with three.
ARMY-LAFAYETTE SERIES: Army holds an 18-2-1 lead over the Leopards since the series began when both joined the l Patriot League in 1990. The Black Knights captured the first 11 games before the Leopards snapped that streak with a 3-2 decision in 2001. Army bounced back winning seven of the next eight games with Lafayette pulling out a 2-1 overtime decision in 2006. The Black Knights are unbeaten in their last four games with the last two going into double overtime. Army won 2-1 in 2007, posted a 2-0 win in 2008, won 1-0 in overtime in 2009 at West Point, then battled to the first tie in the series last year, a 0-0 double overtime draw in Easton, Pa.
LAFAYETTE NOTES: Picked seventh in the league's preseason poll, the Leopards (9-5-1, 4-2-0 PL) surprised the prognosticators in jumping out to a 4-0 lead to rank first in the league standings. That all changed last weekend when Colgate and Bucknell knocked Lafayette out of first place. However, the Leopards, who earned their first bid to the Patriot League tournament since 2001, have an outside chance to host but need to defeat Army Sunday, along with a Colgate loss to American Saturday.
Lafayette won all six of its matches played at Mike Bourger '44 Field at Oaks Stadium this year, tying the program record set by teams in 1992, 1993 and 2000. With its win over Holy Cross on Oct. 15, Lafayette finished unbeaten at home for the first time ever (6-0-0). The Leopards six-match unbeaten streak (Sept. 21 to Oct. 15) is the second longest in program history.
Lafayette keeper Lauren Smedley has 19 career shutouts, the same as Army's Monica Lee, and is tied with her for 10th in Patriot League history books.
Smedley shows a 0.71 GAA along with 76 saves, seven shutouts, and a 9-5-1 mark. Jannelle Pierson tops the Leopards with four goals and one assist for nine points. Lafayette has scored 14 goals this season, allowed 11, along with being shut out four times. The Leopards have scored five goals in league play and yielded six, along with two shutouts, for a 0.99 GAA.
FOLLOW THE ACTION: Live audio and video broadcasts of Sunday's contest will be available on Army's official web site at www.goARMYsports.com via ITT Knight Vision. Live stats will be available via GameTracker on Army's web site as well.