WEST POINT, N.Y. - Army hung with Atlantic Coast Conference Maryland for the first 55 minutes, but the Terrapins broke open a scoreless game with three goals over a 35-minute span in the second half en route to posting a 3-0 non-league women's soccer victory over the Black Knights in the season debut for both teams Friday evening at Clinton Field before a crowd of 2000-plus fans.
Sophomore forward Ashley Grove opened the scoring with a 12-yard shot that landed in the left corner of the Army net at the 54:26 mark, and just over a minute later Jasmyne Spencer tallied the insurance goal with the ball landing in the right corner for a 2-0 lead. Caitlin Money closed out the scoring on an unassisted tally into the right corner of the net with just over 16 minutes remaining.
In its preseason game, the Terps defeated #16 West Virginia, 2-0, on its home field. Maryland was picked eighth in the ACC preseason poll.
Though the loss ruined the coaching debut of first-year Army coach Stefanie Golan, she had words of praise for her team.
"In the first 55 minutes we were right with Maryland," said Golan, "and we were able to create some opportunities as well. We came into this game with the expectations that we could play with this team and obviously win the game. And for the first fifty-five minutes we felt we showed that we could hang at this level.
"For our first game out against a quality ACC opponent, we feel good about our starting point after being able to stay that long with them," continued Golan. "The goal by the end of the season is to go 90 minutes and beat them at the end of the day."
Army goalkeeper Alex Lostetter, a Patriot League all-star, made six of her nine stops in the first half with three in the first 6:40 of the game in finishing with nine saves, one shy of her career mark.
Carlie Turnnidge, who had a pair of shots along with Dymon Washington and Deanna Clegg, ripped a long hard shot midway through the second half that hit the crossbar while her second shot toward the end of the game was wide.
Freshman defender Melissa McLaws drew a starting nod in the lineup along with three seniors (Christine O'Leary, Caitlyn Gallagher and Elizabeth Betterbed), four juniors (Lostetter, Turnnidge, Kelley Robbins and Candice Bryan) and three sophomores (Washington, Clegg and Julia Stallard). It was the first career start for Bryan.
The Black Knights, the defending Patriot League champions, host NJIT and Fordham next Friday (Aug. 28) and Saturday (Aug. 30), respectively.
NOTES: Prior to the game, heavy winds and rain descended upon the Hudson Valley around 5 p.m., knocking out the Internet on post ... but the weather was clear by game time making it a perfect night for a soccer game ... Joe Beckerle was the PA announcer for the gam and his daughters Hannah and Sarah were ball girls along with their soccer team, the Rockland Thunder ... five members of the women's soccer team (co-captains Kaitlin Ellison and Brittany Fearnside along with Caitlyn Gallagher, Elizabeth Betterbed and Christine O'Leary) received their rings along with the rest of the USMA Class of 2010 in a special ceremony in Eisenhower Hall earlier in the day ... Patriot League schools Army, Navy and American opened their slates this weekend ... the Midshipmen defeated USC Upstate 3-0, while the Eagles take on host Georgetown Saturday.