Women's Soccer Takes On Penn State Today

Patriot League Tournament MVP Joey Molacek practices on Jeffrey Field.

Patriot League Tournament MVP Joey Molacek practices on Jeffrey Field.

Nov. 11, 2011

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - The Army women's soccer team has a date today, Nov. 11, with host and No. 13 Penn State in a first round NCAA game, 7 p.m., at Jeffrey Field . Fans can follow the action on Army's ITT Knight Vision with Bob Geller calling the action. In addition, GAMETRACKER will be available on both Army's website (www.goARMYsports.com) as well as Penn State's website (www.gopsusports.com).

Penn State will be providing free video of tonight's NCAA women's soccer match against Army. Here is the link to GoPSUsports.com All-Access.http://www.gopsusports.com/allaccess/?media=281098

Tickets to the game will be sold at the Bryce Jordan Center Ticket Office (Tuesday-Friday, 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m.). The ticket office is located off Curtin Road with free parking outside the doors. General admission tickets will also be sold on site, beginning one hour prior to the match on Friday, for $8 apiece. Students and children will be admitted for $5, while a group rate for 15 or more fans will be $3 per person.

Parking is free for all attendees. Fans are encouraged to park in the grass lots south of Jeffrey Field (weather permitting) or in the Beaver Stadium West Lot, accessed off Park Avenue.

The Black Knights (12-3-5) are in the midst of a four-game shutout streak, while the Nittany Lions are coming off of their first loss in 14 martches when they bowed 2-1 to Illinois in the Big Ten title match. Army is making its second NCAA appearance in four years, while the Nittany Lions (19-4-0) earned their 17th straight bid and host seed for the first time since 2009.

Army is coming off a pair of 2-0 shutout wins at the Patriot League Tournament over top-seeded Colgate in the semifinals and No. 3 Navy in the championship finals that earned the Black Knights their third conference title and second automatic bid to the tournament. Army is just the second No. 4 seed to capture the tournament title, and first since Bucknell set the record in 2005.

The Black Knights will be looking to register their first-ever NCAA win and second by a Patriot League school when they go up against a Penn State team that is 30-15-1 all-time at the NCAAs and showing a 24-6-0 tournament record at Jeffrey Field.

In common opponents, Penn State defeated Bucknell, 4-0, on Sept. 20, in Lewisburg, Pa., with the Nittany Lions jumping out to a 3-0 halftime lead.The Bison, members of the Patriot League, fell to the Black Knights 1-0 on Oct. 9 at West Point.

The last time PSU hosted a first-round match at its home field was in 2009 when it defeated Patriot League member Colgate, 5-0. The Raiders are the only league team to post a first round win when they blanked Arizona, 1-0, in 2004.

Navy was the last Patriot League school to advance to the second round of the NCAAs when the Midshipmen moved forward in 2006 on penalty kicks (5-4) after playing William & Mary to a 0-0 draw.

Army's coaching staff and players began preparing for Friday's match since last fall after falling short of an NCAA bid following a 1-0 heartbreaker in the championship finals of the league tournament.

It will be the second time that Army's five seniors - Dee Clegg, Lindsay Gordon, Errin Helbling, Monica Lee and Julia Stallard - are heading to the NCAAs, having been part of the Black Knights' squad that earned its first NCAA bid when they were freshmen in 2008. Head coach Stefanie Golan was the associate head coach at the time, taking over the program at the conclusion of the season following the retirement of long-time mentor Gene Ventriglia.

It will be defense vs. offense when Army, one of the toughest teams in the nation to score upon, takes on a Penn State team ranked among the scoring leaders. The Black Knights list second in the nation in shutout percentage (0.75), third in save percentage (0.914) and eighth in goals-against average (0.426). Lee, the senior goalkeeper, is fourth in save percentage and ninth in GAA as the starter in all 20 matches en routing to posting a school and Patriot League single-season record 15 shutouts.

Penn State comes into the fray ranked fifth in scoring offense (2.74), and 14th in won-lost-tied percentage (.826), while defensively the Nittany Lions are 17th in shutout percentage (0.565) and 50th in GAA (0.82). Sophomore forward Maya Hayes is first nationally in goals (27) and points (62), second in game winners (nine) and ranked second in goals per game (1.174) and fourth in points per game (2.7). Taylor Schram is sixth in assists (12), Christine Naim is 11th (11) and Jess Rosenbluth is 20th (10) in helpers.

In addition to Lee, Army has one of the finest defensive players in the country in sophomore Molly McGuigan, a two-time Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and two-time first-team all-star. She was also named to the preseason to the MAC Hermann Watch List. McGuigan has played a pivotal role in Army recording 31 shutouts in 41 games over the past two seasons, including a record-setting 16 last year and one shy of that mark this season.

Offensively, Army's 28 goals are its highest output since registering 35 in 2005. Two-time Patriot League first-team all-star Kim An leads Army and the conference in goals with 10, along with four game winners to tie with two others, including classmate Ruthie Rosenberger, for the lead in that department as well.

Sophomore Joey Molacek, the MVP of the Patriot League Tournament, ranks second on the team with five goals and two assists for 12 points, along with a pair of game winners. Rosenberger and Helbling are tied for third with nine points each, with Stallard, who was switched from defensive to midfield this year, leading the Black Knights with five assists.

Live audio of Friday evening's contest will be available on Army's official athletics web site (www.goARMYsports.com) via ITT Knight Vision, the Black Knights' subscription-based multimedia platform. Bob Geller will handle the play by play duties. Live stats for the match will also be available via GameTracker.

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