FH: Field Hockey Advances to MAC Semifinals With 2-0 Victory Over Longwood

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November 1, 2018
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November 2, 2018
FH: Field Hockey Advances to MAC Semifinals With 2-0 Victory Over Longwood

 

OXFORD, OHIO — Appalachian State University field hockey (7-13) will advance to the semifinals against No. 2 seed Kent State after a 2-0 victory over Longwood on Thursday afternoon. The semifinal matchup against the Golden Flashes will begin at 2:30 p.m. Friday at the Miami Field Hockey Complex. 

The Mountaineers’ defense stifled Longwood’s offense throughout the game, allowing only three shots on goal. The Black and Gold held the Lancers without a shot on goal until the 34th minute. 

Appalachian’s 2-0 victory avenges a 4-3 overtime loss to the Lancers earlier this season. The triumph also marks the second win over the Lancers in program history and the first since 2014. 

“Today we played as a complete unit,” head coach Meghan Dawson said. “Our group had each other’s back and you could see that on the field. Longwood is an extremely tough opponent with great players.” 

Redshirt freshman Jillian Ulery notched the first score in the 20th minute off a deflection from a penalty corner. Sophomore Veerle Van Heertum fired the original shot before Ulery used her stick to find the back of the goal cage. Van Heertum earned the assist on the opening goal, giving the sophomore at least one point in seven of her past eight games. 

After entering halftime with a 1-0 lead, the Mountaineers doubled their advantage to 2-0 in the 40th minute off another penalty corner. This time, Van Heertum registered the score with freshman Friederike Stegen and sophomore Chloe Bell tallying the assists. 

App State maintained the two-goal lead for the remainder of the game, securing its first shutout victory since the season opener Aug. 20 against Towson. The Mountaineers tied the Lancers in total shots at seven apiece, but the Black and Gold’s 5-2 advantage in penalty corners served as the difference. 

Junior goalkeeper Rachel Gaines earned the shutout in the goal cage. Gaines made three saves, including a pair of stops in the second half to preserve the shutout. 

Van Heertum recorded three points, a goal and three total shots. Five different student-athletes registered shots, including Van Heertum, Ulery, Bell, junior Ali Williams and sophomore Meghan Smart.

“I’m so proud of this group for continuing to work hard and stay together,” Dawson said. “They fought for each other on the field.”

Appalachian now prepares for Kent State (7-11), who finished with a 5-1 conference record and is 5-2 in its past seven contests. The Golden Flashes defeated the Mountaineers 3-1 in App State’s final conference game of the season.