WEST POINT, N.Y. Army’s second-half rally fell short as the host Black Knights fell 2-1 to Fairfield in the final game of the BAE Systems Classic at Clinton Field Sunday afternoon to finish runner-up to the Stags (2-3-2) for the tournament crown.
Army (4-4-0), who defeated Air Force(2-1) in Friday’s opening round, closed out the tournament 1-1-0. Senior co-captain Silvia Longo, sophomore Sarah Goss and freshman Elizabeth Bettered were named to the all-tournament team. Fairfield (2-3-2), posting a 2-0 mark to capture the title, was led by tournament MVP Ahna Johnson.
Air Force and Delaware battled to a 0-0 double overtime in the first game the final day tie to finish with identical 0-1-0 marks, but the Falcons were awarded third place and the Blue Hens fourth based on goal differential.
Fairfield scored both of its goals in the opening half, then had to hold off a furious Army rally as the Black Knights pressured the Stags, outshooting them by a 12-2 margin in the second half and 18-9 for the game.
Stepping up their efforts in the second half, Army came up short in its first 10 attempts before capitalizing when Ronee Farrell drilled a long shot that ripped the back corner of the net off an assist from Sarah Goss with 5:39 remaining in the game.
Goss took Army’s final shot a minute later from 18 yards that went wide left. Army missed an earlier opportunity when Longo’s corner kick was intercepted by Stag keeper Brett Maron, who dropped the ball, then fell on it before the Black Knights could capitalize..
The Stags, dominating the first half of action as five of their seven shots were on goal, but the first three of the game were Army senior keeper Rebecca Garcia.
Johnson gave Fairfield an early 1-0 lead when she headed Whitney Gorovitz’ pass into the back of the Army net at 10:27. The Staggs scored just before halftime when Chrissie Sidie capitalized on an Army miscue when she ripped a 25-yard shot into the upper left corner for a 2-0 lead.
“We did not come ready to play,” commented Army head coach Gene Ventriglia. “Fairfield is a good team, but the second goal they scored was because we coughed it up. They just took advantage of the opportunity.
“You compare our play in the second half, and had we done that in the first half, the outcome might perhaps have been different. We still learned something today, and that is important.”
The Black Knights visit Hartford Friday evening before returning home to host Oregon State Sunday in a pair of non-conference tilts before beginning Patriot League action.
2006 BAE SYSTEMS CLASSIC ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Tournament MVP Ahna Johnson of Fairfield
Air Force Rachael Emory, Corbin Sanford, Melinda Mokos
Delaware Bonnie Mills, Kasie Shover
Fairfield MT Church, Casey Frobey, Ahna Johnson, Alex Caram
Army Sarah Goss, Silvia Longo, Elizabeth Betterbed
Tournament MVP Ahna Johnson (Fairfield)
1. Fairfield (2-0-0)
2. Army (1-1-0)
3. Air Force (0-1-1)
4. Delaware (0-1-1) ... goal differential