FAIRFIELD, Conn. - Army fired all five of its second-half shots over the final 18 minutes of play, but it was not enough against Sacred Heart as the host Pioneers used an early goal by Samantha Kee off a corner kick in the second half to claim a 1-0 victory Friday evening at Campus Field in the season debut for both teams.
The Black Knights (0-1-0) and Sacred Heart (1-0-0) each had three shots on goal in the first half, but neither team could penetrate strong goaltending provided by Army's Alex Lostetter and the Pioneer's Meghan Reichelt. Lostetter, who just a few hours earlier was one of four seniors to receive her class ring, was tested early in the game on a pair of headers over a span of 3:42. The first by Jen Mulvey was just 3:27 into the contest with the second at the 7:09 mark by Leigh Dogmanits that came off a corner kick.
All three of Army's shots on goal in the first half were by freshman with Joey Molacek testing Reichelt with a long shot eight minutes into the game along with attempts by Donna Bennett and Christine Kaila.
Kee produced the game's lone goal just 11:26 into the second half when she one-timed a low volley off Dogmanits' corner kick that landed in the left side of the net.
Following the goal, the Black Knights were relentless in their attempt to score the equalizer, launching five shots, three on goal, over an 18-minute span. Kim An's shot from point blank range was rejected at the 71:25 mark and just 38 seconds Reichelt denied Molacek's attempt, the second of her game-high three shots.
"We have a new team and a young team," said Army coach Stefanie Golan, " and it is going to take some time for us to settle in and get some consistency. We came out stronger in the second half and picked up our play and the level of intensity. At the end of the game we had eight shots with six on goal to Sacred Heart's nine shots with four on goal.
"We had opportunities and will keep working until we find what works. Sacred Heart out battled us in the first half and we came out on the short end, and that won't happen again."
The Black Knights, playing their first three games on the road, visit Central Connecticut State Thursday followed by Delaware on Saturday.
NOTES: Prior to their season opener, four seniors - Alex Lostetter, Kelley Robbins, Carlie Turnnidge and Candice Bryan - received their rings prior to their departure in a special ceremony in the terrace on the library ... the rest of the Class of 2011 received their rings later in the day at Trophy Point ... Army had four freshmen in the starting lineup (Joey Molacek playing forward, Kim An and Donna Bennett as midfielders along with Molly McGuigan on defense) and two others (Jaclyn Kalik and Katie Wacker) drawing reserve duty.