CLEVELAND, OHIO — Appalachian State University field hockey enters the 2018 MAC Tournament Championship in Oxford, Ohio, as the No. 6 seed. The Mountaineers will face the No. 7 seed, Central Michigan, Wednesday at noon at the Miami Field Hockey Complex.
Wednesday’s contest between the Mountaineers and Chippewas will be the first game of the tournament. The free, online stream will be available through the MAC website. A link has been provided above. The winner will advance to a 1:30 p.m. tilt against the No. 3 seed, Longwood, on Thursday.
This season, all seven teams have an opportunity for the conference crown.
In 2017, only four teams made the conference tournament. The Mountaineers recorded victories in three of their final four conference games to secure a spot in the Mid-American Conference Tournament in their inaugural MAC season. Appalachian fell in the opening round to Miami, who is the defending MAC Tournament champion.
Miami was selected in the preseason as the favorite to win both the regular-season championship and the tournament championship. App State was predicted to finish fourth in the regular-season standings. The Mountaineers also received a tournament champion vote in the preseason poll.
About the Mountaineers
The Black and Gold closed out the regular season with a pair of defeats at Kent State and Bucknell. App State notched second-half scores in both contests, including a pair of goals in the closing minutes against Bucknell. On Friday, the Mountaineers fell 3-1 to a surging Kent State team that finished with a 5-1 conference record. Junior Ali Williams registered her seventh goal of the season in the setback. Another junior, Melissa Nobile, recorded the assist on Williams’ score. Appalachian then concluded its regular-season slate with a 3-2 loss at Bucknell. The Mountaineers outplayed the Bison in the second half, outshooting Bucknell 10-5 while also holding a 5-1 advantage in penalty corners. Sophomore Veerle Van Heertum recorded her ninth goal of the season, finishing the season with a point in five of her last six regular-season games. Redshirt-freshman Jillian Ulery also tallied her first goal of the season, trimming Bucknell’s lead to 3-2. The Bison held on in the game’s closing moments to secure the victory. Sophomore Annette Jarosz also recorded a defensive save in each contest, boosting her season total to six. Jarosz moved into second in Mountaineers’ history with 11 defensive saves in her career. Van Heertum enters the conference tournament leading the team in points (22), goals (nine) and shots (43). Freshman Friederike Stegen and Bell are tied for the team lead with seven assists each. Junior goalkeeper leads Appalachian with 71 saves and a .676 save percentage over 14 games this season.
Last Meeting Against Central Michigan
Appalachian defeated Central Michigan 5-1 in its final home matchup of the season. The Mountaineers used four second-half goals to notch the victory. Williams and Van Heertum both secured a brace in the triumph, while Stegen, Bell and Jarosz all registered assists during the contest. Redshirt-freshman Madison Nuckols earned her first career victory in the goal cage, making six saves. The Mountaineers are 3-0 against Central Michigan since joining the MAC in 2017, outscoring the Chippewas 12-1 among those three contests.
2018 MAC Field Hockey Championship Seeds
1. Miami – 6-0 MAC – 13-6
2. Kent State – 5-1 MAC – 7-11
3. Longwood – 4-2 MAC – 9-6
4. Ohio – 2-4 MAC – 4-11
5. Ball State – 2-4 MAC – 2-15
6. Appalachian State – 1-5 MAC – 5-13
7. Central Michigan – 1-5 MAC – 2-15
2018 MAC Field Hockey Championship Schedule
Wednesday, October 31 (Play-In Game)
Match 1 – #7 Central Michigan vs. #6 Appalachian State — Noon
Thursday, November 1 (Quarterfinals)
Match 2 – #5 Ohio vs. #4 Ball State – 10:30 a.m.
Match 3 – Match 1 Winner vs. #3 Longwood – 1:30 p.m.
Friday, November 2 (Semifinals)
Match 4 – Match 2 Winner vs. #1 Miami – 11:30 a.m.
Match 5 – Match 3 Winner vs. #2 Kent State – 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 3 (Championship)
Match 6 – Match 4 Winner vs. Match 5 Winner – 4 p.m.