LEWISBURG, Pa. -- Chelsey Garkowski scored a terrific equalizing goal early in the second half, but Army's Kimberly An played spoiler as she scored in the second overtime period to lift the Black Knights to a 2-1 victory at Emmitt Field at Holmes Stadium in the Patriot League opener for both squads on Saturday afternoon.
Jessie Ashworth had an outstanding day in goal for the Bison. She made all six of her saves in the second half and overtime, many of which came in a steady rain that began falling with about 30 minutes left in regulation. There was little she could have done with either of Army's goals, as Candace Stewart scored late in the first half on a shot to the upper corner, and An's game-winner came on a re-direct at the near post on a cross in from the left side of the box.
Trailing 1-0 coming out of the locker room, the Bison tied it up quickly after the resumption of play. Courtney Nelson, who had a tremendous game at right fullback, took possession of the ball near midfield, broke down the right wing and bent a ball into the penalty area. Garkowski, coming in from the left side, beat a defender to the ball and was able to poke it into the right side of the goal for her team-leading third tally of the year.
Just after Bucknell tied it, Army turned the pressure back on and nearly went right back ahead, but Molly McGuigan's point-blank header off a corner kick just went high.
The Bison weathered that flurry, and in the 66th minute they had a great look of their own. Cassie Denger made a nice pass with the outside of her foot on to Sarah Bresette inside the 18, but Army keeper Jordan Cassalia tipped Bresette's hard strike over the bar. About 13 minutes later a free kick came loose to Denger on the right side of the box, but her open look sailed high.
Ashworth's toughest save of the night came in the 79th minute when Anna Lail broke free on the right wing. Ashworth deflected the hard close-range shot straight up into the air and then corralled the rebound. Ashworth had a few more tough saves in regulation, including one on a low skipper on the rainsoaked turf off the foot of Katie Holder.
In the first overtime period Army looked to have a player in alone on goal, but center back Hannah Bonotto came from the weak side to make a strong tackle. But the Black Knights ended it 62 seconds into the second overtime period. Ruthie Rosenberger got the first touch on a Bucknell goal kick and sped down the left flank. Rosenberger veered into the box and slotted a pass to a cutting An, who finished at the near post for her fifth goal of the year.
"I'm pleased with the fight and character that our team showed coming off a tough week and then falling behind by a goal," said Ben Landis. "This was a good, well-played Patriot League game by both sides. It was a tough finish from our perspective, but we saw some good things and I'm excited to see how we bounce back."
Cassalia made four saves for Army, which finished with a 22-11 shot advantage. The Black Knights improved to 5-3-1 on the season and avenged a 2-0 defeat at Bucknell last season. The Bison fell to 3-6 overall, with two of the losses coming in double overtime.
Next up for the Bison is a Patriot League road test at Lehigh next Friday at 7 p.m.