BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State University field hockey (6-2, 0-1 MAC) welcomes two opponents this weekend to close out its longest home stand of the season. The Mountaineers host reigning Mid-American Conference champion Miami (4-4, 1-0 MAC) on Friday at 3 p.m. App State then concludes the weekend with a matchup against La Salle (3-4) at noon.
About the Mountaineers
The Mountaineers had their six-game winning streak to open the 2019 season snapped on Friday against Ohio. The Bobcats used four goals in the fourth period to complete the comeback, securing a 6-5 victory over App State. App State’s 6-0 start was its best in school history. The 6-0 run was also Appalachian’s first six-game winning streak since 1985.
App State then hosted No. 1 UNC on Sunday, falling to the Tar Heels in a 4-1 setback. The Mountaineers battled fiercely against North Carolina, making three defensive saves in the first half to just trail by a single goal at halftime. Annette Jarosz registered two defensive saves, while sophomore Brenna Schoenbachler notched her first stop of the season.
Junior Veerle Van Heeertum led App State with three goals over the weekend, securing a brace against Ohio before firing home a goal off a penalty corner against the top-ranked Tar Heels. Van Heertum’s two goals against the Bobcats also came off penalty corners, boosting her season goal total to four. Junior Chloe Bell, sophomore Anna Smarrelli and freshman Rachel Fleig also recorded a goal each against Ohio.
App State’s 6-2 start has helped the Mountaineers earn the top spot for a MAC team in this week’s NCAA Division I Field Hockey RPI. The Mountaineers rank 28th in the country according to the metric, which is 37 spots higher than their finish at 65th in 2018.
Scouting Miami (4-4, 1-0 MAC)
Miami sits at an even 4-4 record through eight contests in 2019. The RedHawks opened the season with a pair of close losses to ranked competition, suffering a 2-0 loss to Albany in their season opener before falling to Delaware 2-1. Miami has won four of its past six games, notching three of those four victories by three goals or more. The RedHawks also opened MAC competition with a 1-0 overtime victory over Ball State. Junior Allie Grace Joyner leads Miami with six goals and 13 points. Fellow junior Leonor Berlie ranks first on the team with a staggering 50 shots, 22 of which have been on goal. Head coach Iñako Puzo begins his ninth season in Oxford, Ohio, where he has compiled a 94-83 record in over eight seasons with the RedHawks.
Scouting La Salle (3-4)
La Salle has dropped two-straight games since opening the season 3-2, falling to two opponents the Mountaineers have defeated in 2019. Both Towson and Georgetown held the Explorers to just one goal in a pair of victories for the Big East sides. App State opened its season 2-0 with shutout wins on the road over the Tigers and Hoyas. The Explorers have nailed down shutouts in two of their three victories this season, blanking Sacred Heart in their season opener before blowing out Wagner 6-0 on the road. La Salle also edged out a shootout victory over LIU, boosting their home record to 2-0 in 2019. Junior Rialee Allen has amassed a team-high four goals and 10 points. Senior forward Lauren Lechleitner ranks second for La Salle with three goals after firing 20 shots so far this season. Head coach Kelly Broadway enters her second year as La Salle’s head coach, going 8-10 in her first season in Philadelphia.
Miami –The Mountaineers have battled the RedHawks nine times since 2001, winning the first three games of the series between 2001-03. App State squeezed out tight one-goal victories over Miami in 2001 and 2002 before recording a 4-1 win in Boone in 2003. The RedHawks, however, have won the past six contests, including all three matchups since Appalachian entered the MAC in 2017.
La Salle – App State is 2-2 against the Explorers since 2006, winning the previous two matchups in 2015 and 2017. The Mountaineers knocked off the Explorers 2-1 in 2015, which was head coach Meghan Dawson’s second win as App State’s head coach. Dawson and her team also registered a 3-1 win over the Explorers in the 2017 season opener. Ali Williams sealed the App State victory two years ago, securing a brace late in the second half. Sunday’s contest will also be just the second meeting between both teams outside of Pennsylvania.
The Mountaineers travel to the state of Michigan for a pair of weekend matchups. App State opens the Michigan road trip with Mid-American Conference opponent Central Michigan (2-7, 0-1 MAC) on Oct. 4 at 3 p.m. The Black and Gold then close out the road swing with No. 9 Michigan (5-2) on Oct. 5 at 2 p.m.