Women's Soccer Faces Tough Test In California

Alana Mitchem

Alana Mitchem

Sept. 12, 2012

WEST POINT, N.Y. - The Army women's soccer team takes to the road for the first time in September when the Black Knights travel to Fullerton, Calif., to compete at the Under Armor Invitational at Titan Stadium. The Black Knights take on the host Titans Friday (Sept. 14) evening at 10:30 p.m. EDT followed by Long Beach State Sunday (Sept. 16) at 2 p.m. EDT in a pair of first time meetings.

Live stats for both matches will be available by logging onto Army's official athletics website and navigating to the women's soccer schedule page. In-game Twitter updates will also be offered for both contests via the official handle of Army women's soccer (@Army_WSoccer).

Army is coming off a 1-0 blanking of Syracuse that clinched runner-up honors at the Black Knight Classic and leveled its season mark at 4-4-0. Junior Kim An's goal with 45 seconds left lifted Army to the decision and her performance (two goals and one assist) earned her Army Athletic Association Athlete of the Week honors. The Black Knights posted 1-0 blankings of Big East members Seton Hall and Syracuse in a 2-1-0 showing last week.

An scored the equalizer in a 2-1 loss to unbeaten Big Ten member Iowa (8-0-0) and her goal was just the third to crease the Hawkeyes' net this season. In goal, sophomore keeper Linda Rosas compiled a 0.67 goals-against average posting 17 saves in two blankings to earn her first career weekly honors. The Granada Hills, Calif., native was named the Patriot League Goalkeeper of the Week and ECAC Defensive Player of the Week. Rosas, An and Molly McGuigan, who earned Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week honors, were named to the Black Knight Classic All-Tournament Team.

Rosas shows a 1.07 goals-against average and .833 saves percentage registering a 4-3-0 mark. An leads the team with eight points (three goals, two assists) and a pair of game winners. Junior Joey Molacek is next in scoring with seven points (three goals, one assist) along with a game winner followed by freshman Anna Lail with a pair of goals, including a game winner. McGuigan is the backbone of Army's defense that ranked among the national leaders in 2010 and 2011.

Army is just one away from recording its 300th win since joining the varsity ranks in 1986, but will be hard pressed in its first trip to the state of California.

The Titans (2-5-0) are coming off a 1-0 shutout of Creighton on Ann Marie Tangorra's goal in the 89th minute that snapped a two-game losing streak to a pair of nationally-ranked teams. Tangorra, who posted both of Fullerton's goals last week to earn Big West Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors, put the skids to No. 1 Florida State's shutout streak at 365 minutes when she tallied in a 2-1 loss to the Seminoles. The Titans suffered a 2-1 loss to No. 21 Oregon State on Aug. 30 with Tangorra assisting on Fullerton's lone goal. The Titans' first win of the season was shutout of Michigan State, 1-0, on the road. All seven of their games have been decided by a goal.

Tangorra and Stacey Fox are tied for the team lead in goals (three) and scoring (seven points), and each has a game winner. Katie Pulliam has drawn the majority of time in goal where she shows a 1.75 GAA and 1-4-0 mark. Lindsay Maricic has forged a 1.00 GAA in two games, and each has a shutout.

It doesn't get any easier for Army as Long Beach State (5-2-0), also a member of the Big West Conference, is ranked No. 20 in the latest National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll. The 49ers have outshot their opponents 111-87 with a season-high 25 shots against St. Francis (Pa.). Seven different players have scored goals with Nadia Linke the leader with four goals and one assist for nine points. She also tops the team with 31 shots, 17 on goal. Goalkeeper Marrina Meyers shows a 1.11 GAA and .795 save percentage to include a shutout. The 49ers' two losses were shutouts to Brigham Young (1-0) and Texas A&M (3-0). Long Beach State is coming off a 3-2 overtime win over North Texas in addition to decisions over Arizona (2-1 OT), St. Francis (Pa.) (2-0), Baylor (2-1 OT) and Michigan ( 2-1).

Seven members of Army's team hail from the California in Donna Bennett (Arcadia), Stephanie Gower (LaMiranda), Alana Mitchem (Anaheim), Molacek (Saugus), Katie Pound (Victorville), Rosas (Granada Hills) and Lara Wilson (Santa Maria).

Army returns home to host Columbia on Sunday, Sept. 23, in its final tune-up for the Patriot League. The defending Patriot League Tournament champion Black Knights, picked second in the preseason poll, play their first three league games on the road.

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