WEST POINT, NY – Freshman Louisa Pitney's (Washington, DC) first career goal at 99:45 lifted the Brown women's soccer team (3-2-0) to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Army (6-2-0) in a regional women's soccer contest Wednesday afternoon at Clinton Field. The Bears' victory snapped Army's winning streak at six games, all of which were shutouts, and marks the first time this year that the Black Knights, who rank third in the country in GAA, have allowed more than one goal.
In an overtime period largely dominated by Army, Pitney beat Monica Lee with a shot from about 10 yards out on what was just the second shot of overtime for Brown. Earlier in the period, the Black Knights nearly put the game away, but freshman MC Barrett (Ithaca, NY) made a stop on Caroline Rice and then Kim An lofted her follow up shot over the net.
In fact, Brown would not have gotten to overtime if it weren't for Pitney's role in the game-tying goal. With time winding down in the game, and Army clinging to a 1-0 lead, junior Carly Ruiz (Costa Mesa, CA) converted a corner kick from Pitney in the final minute of play to tie the game at 1-1 and force the extra session. Ruiz's goal snapped Arm's shutout streak at 662 minutes, spanning over more than seven games, as the last goal scored against the Black Knights came in the 57th minute of play against Sacred Heart on August 20th.
The two teams played a relatively even and scoreless first half. Junior Marybeth Lesbirel (Holmdel, NJ) led all players with three shots, including two in the opening 11 minutes, while senior Gina Walker (Canyon Country, CA) and freshman Kiersten Berg (Salt Lake City, UT) both had chances denied by Lee.
At the other end of the field, freshman goalie Amber Bledsoe (Withamsville, OH) needed to make only one save, a stop on a 20-yard attempt by An. However, she also made two interceptions on crosses to help limit Army's chances.
The Black Knights came out with high energy to start the second half and grabbed a 1-0 lead just 8:12 after the break when An took a pass from Rice and beat Barrett one-on-one with a low shot. In fact the first 13 minutes of the half were dominated by Army, which fired off seven shots, three of which were saved by Barrett.
Brown's best chance during the first 13 minutes of the frame came just prior to Army's goal when a Black Knight defender headed the ball away on a Bears' corner kick. Following an attempt by Berg in the 59th minute of play, Army continued to press, taking three more shots, all of which Barrett saved.
With just under 20 minutes remaining in the game, the momentum swung towards Brown, which picked up its intensity, dominating the end of regulation. The tide shifted when the Bears' earned a corner kick in the 71st minute of play. In fact, during the final 19:35, Brown outshot Army, 8-0, including a 4-0 margin in shots on goal, and earned five corner kicks to Army's none.
Brown's perseverance paid off in the form of Ruiz's tying goal, the first goal of her career, with 52 seconds remaining, forcing overtime and setting up Pitney's game-winner. Just nine minutes prior to the goal, the Bears actually appeared to have scored the tying goal. However, the goal was disallowed on a goalie interference call.
In all, Army held a narrow advantage in shots, 18-16, while Brown held a 7-4 advantage in corner kicks. Bledsoe finished with one save, while Barrett recorded seven to earn the win. Lee, who had yet to allow a goal this year, stopped five shots for Army.
The Bears return to action on Sunday afternoon when they host Sacred Heart in a 2:00 p.m. contest.