USAFA, CO – Army West Point women’s soccer struck first in its rivalry match with the Air Force Falcons before eventually falling 2-1 on Friday night.
There was a flurry of action in the opening 10-plus minutes, including two goals scored in a five-minute span.
The Black Knights silenced the home crowd with a goal in the third minute. Army forced a corner kick which Dara Murray took. Her outswinger into the box found Elizabeth Oberhaus who leaped over her marker and sent a powerful header towards the goal which found its way into the back of the net for a 1-0 lead on the first attack of the game.
However, the Falcons nearly tied the game one minute later when Kayla Milford’s shot rattled the crossbar. Air Force did net the equalizer in the 8th minute on a goal by Jenna Rubidoux.
A strong save near post by Sage Strohman denied Air Force’s Caeli Sherman in the 16th minute. As the half progressed, the Falcons gained more momentum. Five minutes before halftime, Air Force scored the go-ahead goal when Audrey Colter picked up the ball along the 18-yard off a corner, dribbled past a defender, and curled her shot into the right side of the net.
The Black Knights had limited scoring chances in the second half while keeping Air Force off the board. Army’s best scoring chance came in the 87th minute with Madison Niebish’s effort going wide.
“It is our first speed bump on a long road, and it always stings a bit harder when it’s an academy match. Unfortunately, it wasn’t until the final 15 minutes that we were able to collectively connect and compete. There were some fantastic individual efforts, but we just were not at our best this evening. Again, it’s a speed bump and learning moment as we have a lot of the season ahead of us,” said coach Tracy Chao.