Oct. 22, 2023
Contact: Jacob Plecker (pl*******@ap******.edu)
Box Score: Attached
LOUISVILLE, Ky. – In the final road game of the 2023 season, the App State Mountaineers (12-4, 5-1 MAC) flew the flag over the No. 8 Louisville Cardinals (12-5, 2-3 ACC) in shootout fashion on Sunday. The win marks the highest ranked win in program history, the first win ever against a top-10 opponent and the first win over an ACC opponent since 1999.
With the shootout period tied at two goals apiece heading into App State’s final attempt, freshman Florine Koopman calmly addressed the ball and made her way into the circle where she slapped the ball past the Cardinal keeper and sent the App State faithful into a frenzy. Koopman’s game-winning goal in the shootout gave App State its second consecutive shootout win.
It was an incredible defensive display put on by the Mountaineer defensive unit at Trager Stadium on Sunday, as they would keep Louisville to just one goal in regulation and stop all 15 Cardinal corner chances. Fifth-year goalkeeper Addie Clark saved an impressive 12 shots in the game and held Louisville to just two goals in the shootout.
“Beating Louisville on their home turf on their senior day is a crazy feeling,” senior defender Grace Ball said. “We knew we had to come in and give it our all. We needed to slow them down and play together and that’s what we did. It’s a great feeling to come out on top.”
Having already clinched a spot in the MAC Tournament with their win on Friday against Ball State, the Mountaineers and head coach Emily Dinsmore now have 12 wins on the year. The 12 wins for Dinsmore in her first season at the helm ties Mountaineer legend Jan Watson’s record for wins by an App State first-year head coach. Dinsmore’s first chance to break that record will come on Friday at home against the Ohio Bobcats.
“All the credit goes to the girls for this win,” Dinsmore said. “They fought to the very end and withstood corner after corner. I knew that if we could get to shootouts we would win this game. It’s so exciting and I’m so happy for the group.”
How it Happened
1st: App State got off to a terrific start on Sunday as they controlled possession of the ball for much of the first quarter and showed they were here to play as they advanced the ball into the circle multiple times in the opening minutes. Nothing would come off the initial advances as Louisville held strong defensively.
The game’s first penalty corner would come in the fourth minute of play as Louisville would draw a foul in the circle. Off the insert, Louisville’s Emilia Kaczmarczyk’s shot was blocked by Sarah Perkins, who made a great play to stop the shot.
Both teams would share possession of the ball as the first period progressed, but neither team could generate much offense after the Cardinals’ first penalty corner. There would be one more shot attempted in the first period by Julie Kouijzer, but it would be saved by Clark. The first period would end in a scoreless tie.
2nd: The Mountaineers drew first blood on Sunday as Leah Hurwitz would be responsible for the game’s first goal just 34 seconds into the second period. Hurwitz’s goal came off a great advance up the far side by Rachel Fleig as she sent the ball into Kassie Paul who deflected it over to Hurwitz for her first goal of the season. The goal marks the seventh game in a row that App State has scored the first goal.
Two minutes later, Lise Bokaar found herself in space and fired a shot on goal that was saved by Merlijn van der Vegt. The fifth-year keeper for the Cardinals had a good game herself between the posts as she allowed just one goal in regulation and saved two shots.
The Cardinals would draw the last first-half penalty corner with just under two minutes to play in the second quarter. On the initial insert, Leah Hurwitz was flagged for leaving the cage early, meaning that App State would be down a man for the penalty corner. Now with an advantage, the Cardinals would insert to Aimee Plumb who fired a shot that was blocked by Grace Ball.
The senior captain played one of her best games of the season on Sunday as she would save multiple Louisville shots from reaching the cage.
When the second quarter horn sounded, App State held a 1-0 lead, despite being outshot 4-3 and outcornered 3-0 in the half. The shutout half marked the eighth consecutive half of scoreless hockey posted by the Mountaineers.
3rd: The third quarter started with a Louisville penalty corner just 17 seconds into the period as the Cardinals looked to bounce back in the second half. Off the insert from Aimee Plumb, Julie Kouijzer fired the ball at Addie Clark who picked up the save. Clark would rack up 12 saves on the day, one short of her career high.
The Cardinals would get on the board in the 40th minute as Chloe Plumb would shoot one from the top of the circle past Clark to break the Mountaineers’ scoreless quarter streak. The freshman’s goal was her third of the season.
The Black & Gold would not be fazed by the Cardinals’ goal as they would take the ball down to the other side of the field quickly and draw their first penalty corner of the contest, giving them their best chance to score of the half. Off Koopman’s insert, Charlotte Bosma would shoot one at van der Vegt, but it was blocked.
Louisville would get one last chance to take the lead before the quarter ended, drawing a penalty corner with 17 seconds to play. Lara Niebler’s shot missed wide, and Sunday’s fierce contest would head to the final 15 minutes the same way it started.
4th: The fourth quarter began with App State gaining a one-man advantage after Louisville’s Minna Tremonti was flagged with a green card. App State was unable to take charge of the advantage as Louisville’s strong defense would prevail and Tremonti came back on the field.
The Cardinals would find a great chance to take the lead late in the game as they would advance the ball into the circle and fire three shots within three minutes at Addie Clark. Clark, who had allowed just one goal in her last four games coming into Sunday, saved all three and prevented the Cardinals from any further offense.
Late in the game, Louisville held possession on their end of the field when a foul was called, giving App State possession. However, upon video referral, it was determined that Louisville would maintain the ball. The Mountaineers would pack the circle to keep the ball away from Clark and stop the Cardinals’ chance.
Off the stop, The Mountaineers found a streaking Charlotte Bosma ahead of every player on the field, generating a great chance to win the game in walk-off fashion. With Hurwitz to her left, Bosma dribbled into the circle and dished to Hurwitz who slapped a shot at van der Vegt that bounced off the keeper’s pads and out of bounds with one second to play in regulation. It was the best chance of the day for App State and van der Vegt’s save sent Sunday’s contest to overtime.
OT: In the Mountaineers’ third overtime game of the season, Grace Ball and the defense were the story as they stopped every chance the Cardinals generated. The Cardinals would draw three corners in the 10-minute period, but App State stopped each chance.
Although Louisville controlled the first overtime period, the game would remain tied at the horn and would need an extra 10 minutes to be decided.
2nd OT: Louisville dominated the second overtime period, keeping the pressure on App State and drawing six penalty corners in the frame. The Cardinals would draw their 10th penalty corner in the 71st minute of play, firing a shot at Addie Clark who made a miraculous sprawling save to keep the Cardinals off the board.
The Cardinals would shoot eight shots in the second overtime period, but Dinsmore’s defense was ready for every play Louisville threw at them. Clark compiled five of her 12 saves in the second overtime period alone and would help send this game to a shootout. It was an impressive display of defense as the Mountaineers fought fatigue all overtime and battled into shootouts.
SO: Addie Clark was once again the story of the shootout as she would hold the Cardinals to just two goals on five attempts. App State would send Bridget Donovan, Sophia Baxter, Lise Boekaar, Grace Ball and Florine Koopman to take the shootout attempts.
After both teams missed their first attempt in the shootout, Baxter would step up and insert the ball past van der Vegt to put App State up one with three attempts remaining. Louisville’s third shot was saved by Clark, who made a diving save to keep the ball out of the net. Both teams would miss their third attempt before making their fourth. Grace Ball took the Mountaineer’s fourth shootout, sneaking it past the keeper and giving the Mountaineers a 2-1 lead going into the final attempt.
After Louisville scored their last attempt to tie the shootout up at two, Florine Koopman stepped up to take her chance. Dribbling the ball into the circle, the freshman shook van der Vegt and shot it past her outstretched stick and into the net to give the Mountaineers the win.
The win over No. 8 Louisville marks seven straight victories for App State, six straight wins away from home and 10 wins on the road this season. The win also marks the highest ranked opponent App State has ever beaten, the second ranked win in program history and first win over an ACC opponent since 1999.
App: Hurwitz (1)
UL: Plumb (3)
App: Paul (1)
Winning Goalie – Addie Clark (12-4): 12 saves, 1 goal allowed
Losing Goalie – Merlijn van der Vegt (12-5): 2 saves, 1 goal allowed
“We couldn’t have won this game without the preparation by everyone involved with this team,” Dinsmore said. “It was an exciting game today and I’m so thankful to be the head coach of this team.”
The Mountaineers will return home for the first time since Oct. 6, where they will take on MAC opponent Ohio next Friday. First touch is scheduled for 3 p.m. and can be streamed on Twitch, YouTube and our Facebook page.
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