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Exciting Weekend For Several Army Teams

I hope Army fans have been making daily trips to the Black Knights’ website, www.goARMYsports, as our staff has been busy posting updates throughout the week.

The men’s soccer team is coming off an exciting 3-0 win over Central Connecticut State Tuesday evening at Clinton Field behind a strong second half as three Black Knights scored a goal. The team closes out a three-game homestand hosting Bucknell in its Patriot League debut Saturday evening under the lights at Michie Stadium.

Congratulations to Jack Hammack who will receive the ODIA Distinguished Service Away at the annual Hall of Fame Induction banquet that is less than three weeks away. Ten former athletes will be among this year’s 11th induction class.

I have to admit that the Hall of Fame is one of my favorite events at West Point as I have watched and cheered on many of the former inductees throughout the years to include a few on this year’s list. . It is exciting to see them return with many of their former teammates and talk about how athletics was the guiding force to future achievements.

Also on the front page of the web site is this year’s Mission First publication, now in its second year. The publication is a collection of profiles  celebrating lives and accomplishments of a number of individuals with strong connections to Army’s athletic program. I am proud to say that I wrote stories on two exceptional individuals.

Becky Halstead, USMA ’81 (second class of women to graduate from West Point),  became the first female West Pointer to become a general. She was my manager for the women’s basketball team in the days prior to live stats and statcrew.  Stats were done by hand and Becky was excellent at keeping and compiling statistics for both teams.  Retired from the Army, she has an exciting career that keeps her busy.

My other story was on “Chico” who has worked a number of years for the Army Athletic Association at Holleder Center and one I dubbed the “Magical Zamboni Man.” As I matter of fact, I know all of the folks the profiles were written about, and I can promise you that each has a great story.

Football fans there is still time to purchase tickets for the Army-Yale game which will be a classic Saturday in New Haven, Conn., in celebrating the 100th year of the Yale Bowl.  It is a storied series in the history of college football as the teams have met 45 times since the series opener at West Point back in 1893.

The weekend starts off Friday with a pair of home events. Women’s tennis is hosting the annual West Point Invitational at Malek Courts and sprint football is making its home debut hosting Franklin Pearce, 7 p.m., at Shea Stadium.

With the varsity football team taking on Yale at 1 p.m. on Saturday, five teams will be competing at home starting with Army-Navy golf at the Golf Course. The two-day event starts at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Weather is perfect for the competition.

At 9 a.m. the West Point Women’s Tennis Invitational opens its second day of competition, while in the afternoon, women’s rugby is hosting American International 1:30 p.m. at Anderson Rugby Complex. In the evening, Tthe men’s soccer team takes on Bucknell in its Patriot League debut, 7 p.m. at Clinton Field, and women’s volleyball is hosting Colgate in a Patriot League match at Gillis Field House at 5 p.m.

On the road is women’s soccer visiting Boston University at 1 p.m. in a Patriot League match. The Black Knights are coming off  of a 2-1 win over Bucknell in their conference opener and will be looking to pull off an upset as they take on the defending Patriot League Tournament champion and  preseason favorite Terriers.

Army’s nationally ranked men’s rugby team has a 7 p.m. road game against St. Bonaventure.

Sunday is the final day of the Women’s Tennis Invitational as well as Army-Navy golf  in the “Star” match battle.

Hope you can be there to cheer on the Black Knights, and if you can’t, you can keep up-to-date with the various teams on Twitter or catch the results on Army’s site (www.goARMYsports.com).

Don’t forget that hockey and basketball (men and women) seasons are just around the corner and you don’t want to miss out on getting tickets.

The Atlantic Hockey Association picked the hockey team to finish 10th in its preseason poll. The regular season opens the weekend of Oct. 10-12.  Fans can start purchasing single-game tickets Sept. 23.

Women’s basketball will be featured on CBS Sports Network as well as the Army men’s basketball team.

Hope you can make some of Army’s games this weekend.

#goARMY

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Busy Weekend For The Black Knights

Army teams were busy over the weekend, both at home and on the road, with sprint football opening its season with a come-from-behind victory at Post University.

Football came away on the short end of a 24-21 score at Wake Forest. Larry Dixon, who carried for 92 yards to boost his career mark to 2,412 yards, became the Academy’s all-time leading rusher among fullbacks.

Army linebacker Jeremy Timpf picked up a couple of honors for his eight-tackle performance in being named the College Sports Madness Independent Defensive Player of the Week, along with his selection as the Football Bowl Subdivision Independent Defensive Player of the Week.

Check out Army’s play of the week which is Joe Walk’s halfback pass to Xavier Moss for an Army touchdown late in the first half. 

Read Army’s football game notes for its upcoming game against Yale on Saturday that Fox College Sports Atlantic will carry as will the Army Sports Network.

The fifth-ranked men’s rugby team’s defense withstood a late surge by sixth-ranked Penn State for a 19-15 decision in its home opener at Anderson Rugby Complex. Army, now 2-0 on the season, recorded the game-winning try in the 59th minute followed by a conversion for a 19-8 advantage.

Saturday evening the women’s soccer team pulled off a 2-1 comeback victory in its Patriot League opener against Bucknell. Katie Holder tied the game in the 65th minute with Mallory Herron’s penalty kick breaking the tie with just over a minute remaining in the game. Holder’s goal was her fourth of the season and Heron’s tally was a career first.

In the season-opening win in sprint football, the Black Knights trailed 12-15 at halftime, but 21 unanswered points in the third quarter led the way to a 31-18 victory as Army extended its win streak to 15.

The women’s rugby team (1-1) trounced Connecticut 53-3 for its first win of the year. Five different players recorded tries in the win.

Volleyball rallied with three-straight set victories in its 3-1 Patriot League road win over Bucknell. The team suffered a 3-0 defeat at Lehigh, the next day.

After playing to a 1-1 draw at regionally ranked Marist, men’s soccer dropped a 2-0 decision to St. Francis Brooklyn Saturday evening.

The cross country teams competed at the Iona Meet of Champions Saturday with the men placing sixth out of 23 teams and the women were eighth out of 20.

Men’s tennis competed in three tournaments over the weekend, the Army Shootout, Saint Joe’s Invitational and the Ivy Plus Invitational. Peter Sienko went 4-0 in Flight 2 singles at Saint Joe’s and advanced to the finals in doubles with Cam Voigt.

The weather is going to be perfect this week and there are a number of Army sports in action on the homefront starting with men’s soccer hosting Central Connecticut State Tuesday evening, 7 p.m. at Clinton Field, prior to opening its Patriot League slate Saturday hosting Bucknell.

Friday evening the sprint football team hosts Franklin Pierce in its home debut at 7 p.m. while in the afternoon the women’s tennis team is hosting the three-day West Point Invitational.

Keep up-to-date on Army’s activities checking on the website at www.goARMYsports.com as well as twitter updates for all of Army’s sports.

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2014 Army Football Uniforms

If you haven’t watched the One on One with Adam Brooks on Army’s 2014 football uniforms, it is one of our favorites. What you don’t see in the piece is a wrinkle that Army fans were exposed to in the season-opening win over Buffalo. Nike and our equipment staff do a wonderful job working together on our uniforms to keep them current, but also respect the traditional look that Army fans have been accustomed to seeing. This year’s addition of the player nameplate on the chest mimics the cadets’ Army uniform, is unique to the academy, and provides a bit of individuality for each player. From all accounts the reviews have been positive.

During a game week, a piece of the Army uniform for the upcoming Saturday is released on twitter by @Army_Football. For Wake Forest, it seems like a good bet we will be seeing some white.

GO ARMY!

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In Remembrance of 9/11

Lt. General Robert L. Caslen addressed the West Point community at Trophy Point earlier this morning, talking about the 9-11 generation that is living history. Caslen discussed how certain moments in American history stand out and that the attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and the fallen plane in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001 are a part of those from our nation’s history that will never be forgotten, not only by the American people, but from people around the world. His speech encouraged the community to continue to stand together in the fight for freedom’s light that will never be eclipsed by terror because of the brave men and women, firefighters, soldiers and civilians alike who fight for it to stay shining. Caslen spoke about how here at West Point we are among cadets that have joined the military for their own reasons, but all did so during a time of war because they too want to fight for freedom’s light.

After Caslen’s speech the final bell was struck by the West Point fire department symbolizing the last response. Then the bagpipers played Amazing Grace followed by four cannon blasts that represented the four planes and West Point’s recognition to those who have lost their lives because of terrorism.

If you are on post today, you may have seen cadets and members of the West Point community running with the American flag. As part of the remembrance of 9/11, Cadets and members of the West Point community took to the streets and we were able to catch a shot of men’s basketball head coach Zach Spiker and is wife Jenn, along with assistant coach Jimmy Allen this morning.

We join the country in remembrance for all those who lost their lives on that day 13 years ago.  

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First Football Weekend in the Books

Saturday was quite the experience with all the anticipation of head coach Jeff Monken’s first game leading the football team and it was great to see the team come through with a huge victory over Buffalo. It was my first game as part of the staff here at West Point and I was lucky that I was able to stay within the air conditioning of Hoffman Press Box. I didn’t realize how hot it was on the turf until people started coming in and out of the press box and seeing the looks on their faces.

As for the game, we ran all over the Bulls for over 300 yards rushing, which should be a norm for this team as Monken said in his press conference after. It was also impressive that Angel Santiago and A.J. Schurr combined to be a perfect 7-for-7 in the passing game. However, the star of the show was Larry Dixon, who ran for 174 yards and two touchdowns. Both of his touchdown scampers were the result of huge holes left by the offensive line. Josh Jenkins also put forth an exceptional effort with two interceptions and Chris Carnegie changed the game with his pick coming right before halftime, which gave the offense the ball at the Buffalo 8-yard line. 

We got some national attention on Saturday night as well with Larry Dixon earning a helmet sticker from Mark May on ESPN’s College Football Final, which drew a lot of tweets and favorites on Twitter. Our black top and white bottomed uniforms also got play on the internet. People liked the addition of the names on the right side of the chest, which mirrors the look of the Army Combat Uniform.

There were a couple of photos of the day that came after the game with the cadets and Buffalo as they were walking off the field and Monken’s excitement following the Alma Mater. There was a photo circulating on Twitter of the Corps of Cadets and the Buffalo players shaking hands as the Bulls left the field. What a great and classy moment following a very intense game. Monken’s photo was him raising his hat in the air in front of the team after singing second in front of the cadets.

His quote after the game sums up the celebration after the game.

"There are 4,000 cadets over there, that have been standing out in the sun and are living and dying on every play with our team and part of the celebration is for them. We represent the Corps of Cadets and so when we went over it should be a moment to celebrate. We want them to be excited and we all 4,000 of them to have our backs every time we take the field. We want them to be yelling and into the game and to be enjoying it and to be our 12th man. I want to make sure every time we celebrate, we go over there and celebrate."

-Matt

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BUFFvsARMY Social Media Recap

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A Unique Perspective

Hello all, my name is Ally Keirn and I am another new addition to the Army Athletic Communications staff. I came on board at Army after spending the past two years as the graduate assistant in the Sports Information Department at Bloomsburg University.

While I was a part of the Huskies, I worked closely with the 20 Division II varsity sports as well as Division I wrestling. I played an integral role in the social media efforts for the athletic department and was involved with the day-to-day operations while doing a majority of the graphic work for athletic publications, all while obtaining a Master’s of Business Administration.

It was during my undergrad years that I discovered there was a profession involving intercollegiate athletics filled with great individuals that I wanted to be a part of. I was a four-year starter of the nationally ranked women’s lacrosse team at Mercyhurst University and was fully unaware of the behind-the-scenes efforts that went into not just my sport, but all collegiate athletics. It wasn’t until I declared Sports Business Management as my major and volunteered for the NCAA Women’s Frozen Four in Erie that I got my first taste of athletic communications, and this is what ignited my passion for the unique profession. Since then I have become fully educated in what truly goes into college athletics.

Here at Army I am the primary contact for the golf team as well as for men’s and women’s swimming and diving in the traditional sense, but I also have a unique role as the Army-Navy social media coordinator. I am excited for the seasons to start and to see the cadet-athletes in action. The golf team’s only home event this fall is Sept. 27-28 when they host Navy so I will be able to fully cover the deep-rooted rivalry as the cadets and midshipmen tee-off against each other at the West Point Golf Course. The swim and dive teams have two intrasquad scrimmages before diving into a dual-meet at UMASS. This will give me the chance to see the teams in action and get to know the athletes a little before the season truly starts.

With the Army-Navy social media position I am hoping to use my mix of perspectives as a former student-athlete, a sports fan and my time in athletic communications to bring the fans of the two great military academies exactly what they want to see. It is a tough feat, but I am up for the challenge.

So far I have been in awe with what goes on here at West Point. The standards which the cadets and employees are held to help push us all to perform at our best every day because we represent so much more than other colleges. I am really looking forward to my first football game day experience when the Black Knights host Buffalo on Sept. 6. I can’t wait for the cannons go off, the parachuters to soar down onto the field and the glee club to start singing the national anthem. It is such a surreal feeling to be a part of something that has so much history and boasts many traditions. I am eager to share the experiences this season with all the fans through social media.

We officially kicked-off the fall season last Friday when the women’s soccer team hosted Fairfield. The following few weeks will be filled with much anticipated out-of-the-office games and events, which we are all looking forward to.

Hoping to see you at games and on social media,

-AK

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USA Men’s Basketball at West Point

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USA Basketball Visits West Point

What a day it has been for the West Point community! First off, let me introduce myself. My name is Nick Lantz, and this is my first season in the Army Athletic Communications office.

We were treated with a special and unique experience today at West Point. The USA men’s basketball team visited post. Some of the best basketball players in the world spent their day at the U.S. Military Academy touring the grounds and seeing what it’s like to be a cadet.

The players and coaches visited some important spots on post, including the cemetery and trophy point. They enjoyed the sloppy joes at the mess hall before getting some practice time in at Christl.

The players entertained the crowded gym with some drills, a short scrimmage and a little friendly competition with Army’s men’s and women’s basketball squads. They even played a long game of knockout, with forward Chandler Parsons of the Dallas Mavericks taking the crown.

It was a warm welcome for USA head coach Mike Krzyzewski, who played for the Black Knights under Bobby Knight and was Army head coach for five seasons during the late 70’s. Alongside Coach K were coaches Monty Williams, Tom Thibodeau and Jim Boeheim.

Jay Bilas played host while the practice was being televised on ESPN2. Fans enjoyed the show, but none more than the cadets. Many cadets were able to share some laughs with players while taking a selfie or two.

Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose received a huge ovation from the crowd. Rose, a former NBA MVP, is returning to the court after missing a large majority of the past two seasons due to knee injuries.

Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors was also a fan favorite, as was Houston Rockets guard James Harden. The rest of the team: Anthony Davis, Kyrie Irving, Klay Thompson, Damian Lillard, Andre Drummond, DeMarcus Cousins, DeMar DeRozan, Kenneth Faried, Rudy Gay, Gordon Hayward, Kyle Korver and Mason Plumlee.

It was quite the experience having these terrific young players and distinguished coaches among the West Point community. Team USA heads down to the Big Apple for an exhibition with the Dominican Republic on Wednesday night in preparation for the FIBA World Cup.

Just another wonderful day at the U.S. Military Academy!

GO ARMY!