LEWISBURG, Pa. - Freshman Kim An's header in the 86th minute tied the game 1-1, and sophomore Marilinh Nguyen's first career goal six minutes into overtime lifted Army to a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Bucknell in a key Patriot League women's soccer match Friday evening at Emmet Field
The Black Knights, unbeaten in the league at 3-0-2, took back first place in the conference standings after Lehigh (3-1-1) and Bucknell (3-2-0) dropped out of a two-way tie for first place following a tie and loss. The Mountain Hawks fought Navy to a 1-1 double overtime tie to slip into second place, while the Bison dropped into a tie with Colgate for third place.
Army (12-3-2) trailed 1-0 at the halftime break after Bucknell's Christa Matlack opened the scoring in the 39th minute as the Bison capitalized on their second shot of the first half. The goal came off a long punt that was headed forward by Kelliann Doherty, forcing a race as Matlack tried to get to the ball. Army keeper Alex Lostetter reached it first, but in her attempt to kick it out of harm's way, the ball instead hit Matlack's foot and she redirected it back into the goal.
The Black Knights took the first seven shots of the first half and nine overall, but Bucknell keeper Sandita McDermott turned aside all four shots on goal as the Bison headed into the halftime break leading 1-0. The goal was just the fifth given up by Army, ranked No. 1 in the country in goals-against average (0.24), this season, and the first scored upon the Black Knights in league play.
"Up until the goal, we were in Bucknell's end," said Army head coach Stefanie Golan. "We hit the crossbar twice and they made a couple of saves. We had done just about everything but put the ball into the back of the net. The goal took the wind out of our sails at a time we felt we were in control of the game."
The Black Knights again held the upper hand in shots in the second half, this by a 5-2 margin and came up empty on the first two shots on goal by Joey Molacek and Julia Stallard before capitalizing late in the game following a free kick that Bucknell headed away. Army senior Carlie Turnnidge got to the loose ball, dribbled to her right and sent a cross into the six-yard box that An finished off with a diving header for her team and league-leading ninth goal of the year.
"Bucknell started gaining confidence following their goal, so at halftime our focus was to look at what we are doing in the scheme of things," explained Golan. "We told them we have to keep pushing forward, and that if we keep with the game plan, we will get the goal back. The longer the half went on, we came twice within of getting that goal. We pushed with four players on top. After getting the goal, we went back into our normal system."
Bucknell's shot by Megan DeGennaro ten seconds following Army's equalizer was rejected by Lostetter as the two teams headed into overtime following her third save of the game. The Bison, who were outshot 15-5 and trailed 4-1 in corner kicks in 95 minutes of action, took the first shot in overtime, a header by Taryn Boucher that went wide.
Turnnidge, who assisted on both Army goals, keyed the game winner when she lobbed a high cross into the box. Bucknell's McDermott was under it, but misjudged it and dropped the ball. Nguyen quickly capitalized as she tapped the loose ball from six yards out into the net to lift Army to the win with her first collegiate tally.
"In the overtime we went with three forwards in the front to try to put Bucknell under pressure and get something," noted Golan. "Carlie (Turnnidge) served another ball in and the goalkeeper misjudged it. It went through her hands right to Marillinh's feet, and she did a great job putting it into the back of the net. She is a great story of a player who got an opportunity and grabbed it.
"We still need another win to secure a league berth and with two more wins we will host. Our main focus now is Colgate, a team that is riding a lot of momentum."
The Black Knights head to Colgate for another crucial game Sunday and can clinch a playoff berth with a win. The Raiders recorded their third straight league win, a 2-0 blanking of Holy Cross, Friday night to move into a tie with Bucknell for third place.
NOTES: The overtime is Army's third straight and fifth of the season ... Army is 2-1-1 in overtime games ... the goal is the first given up by Army since bowing to Fordham 1-0 on Sept. 26 ... the Black Knights stretched their unbeaten streak to six, all blankings except the last ... the win is Army's third over the Bison in the last nine matches, to include a tie as the Black Knights pulled ahead in the series 14-11-2 ... Kim An is Army's first freshman to score nine goals since Emily Harrington recorded that number in 1995 ... Army's 12 wins equals the number it set in 2008 when it captured the Patriot League Championship and first-ever NCAA bid .. it is the first time Army has won a game after trailing its opponent.