BOONE, N.C. – Sophomore Reed Hunnicutt’s (Charlotte, N.C./South Meck) second-half goal lifted Appalachian State University men’s soccer (5-1-1) to an impressive 1-0 triumph against a stout UNCG (3-5) squad on Saturday evening at Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.
Appalachian got back on the winning track to stay undefeated at home with a 3-0 mark, while the Mountaineers matched last season’s win total. App’s 5-1-1 start is the best start since the 2007 campaign when the Black and Gold started 5-0-2. App State has outscored its opponents, 6-1, with a pair of shutouts in the three home victories.
“So pleased for this group to get the shutout and the win,” head coach Jason O’Keefe said. “The team has been working hard for the past 10 days with two games canceled and had a hunger to get back to playing and winning.
The Black and Gold’s defense was stingy, particularly in the second half as the visitors only attempted one shot (six in the first half). The workman-like effort helped Jake Chasteen (Boone, N.C./Watauga), who stopped both of UNCG’s shot attempts, earn his third clean sheet of the season. Saturday evening’s win was the first time this season the SoCon preseason favorites have been held to zero goals on the road.
“Anytime you can get a shutout, it is a great team effort,” O’Keefe continued. “We had many guys do all the little things. You don’t shut out a good attacking team like UNCG without everyone on the board and the same page.”
All App needed was a goal in the 48th minute when Juan Hernandez (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange) found his sophomore teammate in the upper left part of the box, where Hunnicutt sent the shot over the Spartans’ goalkeeper in the right side of the net. It was Hunnicutt’s first goal of the season while Hernandez now has a team-best two assists.
The Mountaineers posted a 12-7 shot advantage including a 5-2 edge in shots on goal. Appalachian also led 8-3 in corner kicks. Charlie Baird (Nottinghamshire, England/Portland Academy) led the way with three shot attempts while five different student-athletes registered a shot on goal.
Appalachian will return to action with a 7 p.m. matchup against High Point on Tuesday.