BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State University field hockey (4-6, 0-2 MAC) continues its five-game home stand with two games at Adcock Field this weekend. The Mountaineers battle conference foe Ball State Friday at 3 p.m. and then host the No. 4 Duke Blue Devils Sunday at 1 p.m.
About the Mountaineers
The field hockey team celebrated 50 years of women’s sports Sunday to open its five-game home stand. Before the game against Louisville, the team participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the team’s new fieldhouse. Field hockey alumni also filled the stands for Appalachian’s largest attendance total of the season. The Mountaineers lost 4-0 to No. 7 Louisville, who moved to 7-3 on the season. Appalachian also dropped a tight contest Thursday against Mid-American Conference leader Longwood in double overtime. The Lancers jumped out to a 2-0 lead within the first eight minutes, but the Black and Gold battled back to tie the game at 2-2 in less than ten minutes. Longwood regained the lead in the second half, but sophomore Veerle Van Heertum’s goal with less than 90 seconds remaining sent the game to overtime tied at 3-3. In overtime, the Lancers notched the golden goal in the 84th minute. Van Heertum leads the team in points (10) and shots (25). Freshman Friederike Stegen and sophomore Chloe Bell tie for the conference lead in assists with four apiece. Sophomore Annette Jarosz, a MAC Field Hockey Defensive Player of the Week award winner, also tops the conference list with three defensive saves. Appalachian has scored 18 goals this season, 15 of which have come at Adcock Field. Junior goalkeeper Rachel Gaines has played the majority of minutes in net, recording 52 saves and posting a .712 save percentage.
Scouting Ball State (0-8, 0-1 MAC)
Ball State has struggled to score in 2018, finding the back of the goal cage only seven times through eight contests. On Monday, the Cardinals suffered a 5-4 overtime defeat to UC Davis. Ball State opened the game with a 2-0 lead, but UC Davis responded with four of the game’s next five scores. The Cardinals are 0-1 in conference play, dropping a home matchup to Miami 4-0. Redshirt-junior Michelle Shampton and redshirt-sophomore Sierra Jefferson are tied for the team-lead in goals with two each. Sophomore goalkeeper Grace Chavez has served as the sole goalkeeper, making 64 saves and posting a .646 save percentage. The Cardinals have been outshot 150-53 so far this season.
Scouting Duke (7-3)
After a 17-win campaign in 2017, Duke has put together another successful season so far, opening their 2018 slate 7-3 with six wins over ranked opponents. The Blue Devils dropped two straight to No. 4 Maryland and No. 6 Princeton, but since then they have rattled off three-straight victories against Top-15 opponents. Duke’s explosive offense has averaged over three goals per game, while its staunch defense has allowed only 18 goals through its first 10 contests. Senior Caroline Andretta leads the team with eight goals. Another senior, Rose Tynan, leads the team with 18 points. The Blue Devils’ experienced team has 10 upperclassmen, including five seniors. Redshirt-junior goalkeeper Sammi Steele has played the majority of minutes in the goal cage, making 29 saves and posting a .630 save percentage.
Ball State – Since 2006, the Mountaineers and Cardinals have squared off eight times. Ball State is 5-3 in those contests, but Appalachian won the first meeting as MAC opponents 3-2 this past year. Van Heertum, Meghan Smart and Taylor Cimbalist all recorded goals to give Appalachian a 3-1 lead before the Mountaineers held on for the road victory. Appalachian also defeated the Cardinals in 2010 and 2012.
Duke – The Mountaineers are 2-29-2 against the Blue Devils since 1976. Appalachian’s two victories against Duke both came in October 1980, where the Black and Gold recorded a pair of 1-0 wins. Appalachian and Duke had a nine-year hiatus from 2008-17 where the two teams did not play each other. The hiatus concluded this past season when Duke hosted Appalachian on Oct. 28.
The Mountaineers close out their longest home stand of the season Oct. 5 against St. Francis at 7 p.m. After this weekend, Appalachian will play four of its final six regular season games on the road.