WEST POINT, N.Y. – Senior Pia White one-timed a perfect feed from freshman Dymon Washington just eight seconds into the second overtime to lift host Army to a 2-1 hard fought women’s soccer victory over Sacred Heart in the opening round nightcap game of the BAE Systems Fall Classic Friday evening before 500 cheering fans at Clinton Field.
The win was the second in three days for the Black Knights, off to a 2-0 start, while Sacred Heart suffered its second defeat of the young season to slip to 0-2-0.
After a scoreless first half, the Pioneers opened the scoring when Leigh Dogmanits capitalized on a scramble in front of the Army net following a corner kick in the 62nd minute. The lead proved short-lived as freshman Deanna Clegg notched her first collegiate goal 1:44 later on a breakaway off a pass from Washington to knot the score 1-1.
Neither team could break the tie in regulation, though Army had chances in the final minute of action when a shot by Washington hit the post and White’s rebound went wide right of the goal to the moans of the crowd. The Black Knights, who held a 14-4 shot advantage in the second half, ripped off six shots to the Pioneers’ two in the final seven minutes of action.
Sacred Heart outshot Army 3-1 in the first overtime, but could not slide one past freshman goalkeeper Monica Lee, who played the final 32 minutes of the game to record her first collegiate win. Lee made three of Army’s five saves with two coming in the final minutes of regulation, while rejecting another attempt by the Pioneers in the final 22 seconds of the first overtime period.
The Black Knights, who outshot the Pioneers 22-14 along with a 9-4 corner kick advantage, put the game into the books just seconds into the second overtime when White ripped a shot into the right corner of the net from eight yards in recording her fifth career goal and second game winner.
Washington registered her second assist of the game in setting up that play after dribbling down the right sideline and sending the ball to a streaking White as the Black Knights jumped off to their first 2-0 start since 2006.
“It was a great game,” stated Army head coach Gene Ventriglia, who was all smiles following his 253rd win on the Army sideline. “This team doesn’t give up. We played over 100 minutes of ball against a strong opponent.
“We had our opportunities, several of them, while defensively I can’t say enough about our three goalkeepers, who pulled up with solid saves. This group has a lot of potential, and we are going to get better with each game.”
The Black Knights face Saint Louis (1-0-0) in the final game of the Classic Saturday afternoon at 1:30. The Billikens hold a 3-0 advantage in the series, all one-goal decisions, and Army is looking to snap that losing streak when the two teams meet for the first time on West Point soil.
In the first game of the evening, Saint Louis (1-0) defeated Seton Hall, 2-1, in the season debut for both teams. Molly Hartmann tallied both goals for the Billikens, punching in the first just five minutes into the game from three yards following a corner kick. She snapped a 1-1 tie with her second tally in the 36th minute following a scramble off a corner kick with shot into the right corner.
Seton Hall tied the game 1-1 just three minutes after Hartmann’s opening tally when Katie Andreski booted a 16-yarder at the eight-minute mark that ripped the left corner of the Billikens net after beating a pair of defenders.
The Pirates (0-1) dominated the second half, outshooting Saint Louis, 14-6, but could not get the equalizer past Billiken keeper Hannah Perry who pulled up with six of her eight saves in that frame. The Pirates held a 21-14 shot advantage, while both teams registered three corner kicks.
Seton Hall faces in Sacred Heart in the first game Saturday at 11 a.m.