ASHEVILLE, N.C. – Appalachian State University (4-1-1) drew to a 1-1 draw against UNC Asheville (1-5-1) on Wednesday evening at Greenwood Soccer Field.
The Mountaineers and Bulldogs played an entertaining contest with great looks at the net and some big saves by both goalkeepers in the second overtime contest in as many matches between the two in-state foes.
Appalachian and UNCA both attempted 20 shots with seven attempts on the frame, while the Mountaineers doubled up on the Bulldogs in corners, 10-5.
“This was a hard-fought game,” head coach Jason O’Keefe said. “I thought we did a ton of great things. Credit to UNCA as they are well-coached and battled hard all night. We will regroup and get ready for our next match.”
Ian Bennett (Wilmington, N.C./New Hanover) had a chance to give Appalachian a win in the first overtime with a shot that was on the frame, but it was saved by the UNCA goalkeeper. The senior also had another chance in the second overtime period but it was stopped once again by the Bulldogs.
Jake Chasteen (Boone, N.C./Watauga) allowed one goal in the start between the posts. The senior for Boone made some game-saving stops when the score was tied 1-1 late in regulation. Chasteen finished the contest with a season-high six saves.
App State got off to a quick start in the first three minutes of the contest when Brady Gunter (Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth) sent a long ball to Camden Holbrook (Cary, N.C./Green Hope) before beating the backline defender and sending the shot in for his team-leading fifth goal of the season. The freshman for App is the first player since Stephen Chapman in 2016 to score at least five goals.
After taking the 1-0 lead, Appalachian came away with excellent opportunities in the first period. Holbrook once again fire away a shot that was on target in the 24th minute of the matchup. Alex McGrath (County Durham, England/Durham University), who made his first collegiate start nailed the crossbar on a straight-away shot just before Aldo Tarantini (Houston, Texas/Bellaire) had a golden chance to give App a 2-0 lead going into the break.
Appalachian held onto the 1-0 advantage with less than 10 minutes left until UNCA’s Brendan O’Dowd tied up the game with a score off a rebounded shot.
McGrath had one more perfect attempt for the Black and Gold to push them to a 2-1 lead and the potential game-winner, but Dakotah Bainter made a big stop for the hosts.
Bennett led the way with five shot attempts, while Tarantini and Holbrook each got off three shots.