BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State University men’s soccer head coach Jason O’Keefe announced the 2018 slate on Wednesday.
The 18-match schedule is highlighted by eight home contests, five affairs against in-state foes and the four-match Sun Belt slate.
App State is coming off a 5-8-6 year but was involved in some close and low-scoring matches. The Mountaineers hung six shutouts on the board including a string of three straight clean sheets. Nine of the 10 student-athletes that scored a goal including leading scorer, Juan Hernandez, return. Also, leading goakeeper, Jake Chasteen, is back for his senior season. Chasteen was one of the top GK’s in the league as he finished third in the Sun Belt in goals against average (1.08), fourth in save percentage (.754) and fifth in saves with 46.
Appalachian will play in 14 non-conference matches with six of those teams posting a winning record. Coastal Carolina and Presbyterian are the two programs on the schedule that earned a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The Black and Gold will face six teams total that finished in the top 100 in the RPI in 2017.
“We are excited to announce our 2018 schedule,” head coach Jason O’Keefe stated. “This schedule has the full complement of challenging programs at home, on the road and the always difficult Sun Belt schedule.”
App State will kick start the campaign with its annual Black and Gold scrimmage on Saturday, Aug. 11 at 7 p.m. over at Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.
The Mountaineers will play its lone exhibition on the road at Radford on Wednesday, Aug. 15 at 6 p.m. Appalachian will open its season at Ted Mack against in-state foe, Campbell, on Aug. 18 at 5 p.m.
Six days later, the Apps play a pair of 7 p.m. matches in the Sunshine State against Jacksonville (Aug. 24) and North Florida (Aug. 26).
In the ensuing week, App State and VMI will square off for the first time on Sept. 1 (7 p.m) at Ted Mack. The Mountaineers will then play host to Belmont at 1 p.m. two days later followed by back-to-back road contests against ETSU (Sept. 8) and UNC Asheville (Sept. 12).
App State will play two of the next three matches at home beginning with Bradley on Sept. 16 at 5 p.m. before traveling to Elon for a 7 p.m. battle on Sept. 19.
Appalachian welcomes UNCG to the High Country for a 7 p.m. showdown on Sept. 22. A two-match road swing will follow when it travels to High Point (Sept. 25 – 7 p.m.) and George Mason (Sept. 29 – 7 p.m.).
A seven-day break will give App time to prepare for the Sun Belt opener against the 2017 Sun Belt Championship runner-ups, Georgia State. The matchup takes places on Saturday, Oct. 6 at 7 p.m. at Ted Mack.
The Black and Gold will face UAB (Oct. 10) before the Oct. 13 match against the reigning Sun Belt Champions, Coastal Carolina, in Conway. The Chanticleers picked up a pair of wins in the NCAA Tournament, including a victory over No. 8 seed Clemson in the second round.
After the Oct. 23 non-conference finale against Presbyterian, the Mountaineers will close out the regular season against conference opponents in archrival Georgia Southern in Statesboro (Oct. 27) at 7 p.m. and hosting Howard in the final match of the season on Nov. 3.
The Sun Belt Championship will take place in Statesboro, Ga. from Nov. 8-11.