Oct. 25, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. -
The Army women's soccer team heads into the final weekend of Patriot League conference play in the hunt for the fourth playoff berth, but not in control of its own destiny. The Black Knights are hoping that will change when they step onto the field Sunday afternoon at Lafayette's Oaks Stadium in Easton, Pa., following Saturday's league results.
Navy (5-0-1 PL), Colgate (4-1-1 PL) and American (4-2-0 PL) clinched playoff berths last weekend, while Holy Cross (2-4-0 PL) and Lafayette (1-5-0 PL) were eliminated from the postseason. That left Bucknell (3-3-0 PL, nine points, Army (2-4-0 PL, six points) and Lehigh (2-4-0 PL, six points) in the thick of battle for the fourth berth.
Six of the teams play Saturday with Bucknell at Navy, Holy Cross at Lehigh and Colgate at American, all Senior Day competitions for the home team which could be a plus for Army as it looks to the host schools (Midshipmen, Mountain Hawks and Eagles) to pull out wins in order for the Black Knights to take control of their own fate in Sunday's game at Lafayette.
If Saturday's results line up with wins by the home teams, Army can throw its hat back into the fray with a win over Lafayette to force a three-way tie with Bucknell and Lehigh as each would finish with nine points. The Black Knights would own the head-to-head tiebreaker based on their win over No. 2 American to lock up the playoff spot.
Army, Bucknell and Lehigh all lost to Navy, which in this scenario would have clinched the regular-season title and hosting duties with a win Saturday over the Bison. Next in line would be the No. 2 seed, and in this case that would be American. The Black Knights defeated the Eagles, 4-0, last week and is the only team among that trio to do so.
All scenarios, however, fall to the wayside and Army will be eliminated Saturday if Bucknell defeats or ties Navy, or if Lehigh or American lose.
Either way, the Black Knights (7-10-0) will put forth their best effort Sunday in looking to close out their regular-season on a winning note.
Junior forward Kim An scored twice to lead Army to its 4-0 win over American last week to stay in contention in the postseason race after snapping the Eagles four-game shutout streak. The goal output set a season high and is the most scored since tallying five goals in a 5-1 win over Stetson early last year. It is also a series high as the Black Knights recorded their second straight win over American and third in the series.
An ranks second on the team in scoring with six points and four assists for 16 points with four game winners. Teammate Joey Molacek, who assisted on the game winner, leads the Black Knights in goals (seven) and scoring (17 points) to rank eighth in the league standings with An ninth. Molacek is seventh in goals and An is tied for eighth, while in game winners, An's four shares third place. In goal, sophomore Linda Rosas brings a 1.41 goals-again average in the Lafayette encounter along with two solo shutouts, while sharing the blanking of American with freshman Jessica McAllister.
Lafayette, 4-11-2 and 1-5-0 in the league, is in the midst of a six-game losing streak. Jill Dozier leads the squad with nine goals and two assists for 20 points to rank fifth in the league and is tied for second in goals. The Leopards show a 1.72 GAA with Lauren Smedley drawing duty in 16 of 17 games for a 1.58 GAA along with five shutouts.
Army dominates the series with Lafayette, 18-2-2, which began in 1990 with the Black Knights capturing the first 11 matches. The Black Knights are in the midst of a five-game series unbeaten streak with the last two meetings ending in overtime draws.
Live stats for Sunday's match will be available via GameTracker with the line accessible by logging onto Army's official athletics website and navigating to the women's soccer page. A live video stream broadcast of the contest is also offered by logging onto Lafayette's official athletics (http://www.goleopards.com/allaccess/?media=322741).
In-game Twitter updates will be offered as well via the official handle of women's soccer (@Army_WSoccer).