BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State University men’s soccer continued the hot start to the 2018 season with a 3-0 shutout over Belmont (0-3) on Sunday evening at Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.
The Mountaineers improve to 4-0 to the season and are just one win away from matching last season’s win total. App has not won its first four games of the season since 2008, while it is 3-0-1 against Belmont.
Appalachian received contributions from everyone on a day where it scored multiple goals for a fourth consecutive contest and tied a season high in goals. The offense was once again attacking with a new season best in shot attempts with 18 and nine being on goal. App has recorded at least six shots on goal in all four games and 17 in the last two contests.
“It was a good, professional performance today,” said head coach Jason O’Keefe. “I was pleased with the performance to get the shutout, get three goals and improve to 4-0. I couldn’t be more happier.”
The defense was just as impressive allowing the Bruins to get off just five shots and one on goal en route to the second shutout of the season. Over the last two games, App has allowed only six shots with two on target (24 shots with 8 SOG in first two games). Jake Chasteen (Boone, N.C./Watauga) notched the 11th clean sheet of his career and the second in the past three contests with one save in 90 minutes. Chasteen is now tied for first in shutouts and second in the Sun Belt with a .72 goals against average.
It was a freshman-to-freshman connection in App’s first goal at 12′ when Charlie Baird’s (Nottinghamshire, England/Outwood Academy) shot deflected off a Belmont defender to Dimitris Moraitakis (Nia Genia Ziridis/Athens, Greece) before he sent the shot in the net for his first career goal to give Appalachian a 1-0 advantage.
Appalachian’s defense kept Belmont at bay in the first period with the lone shot by Daniel Twizer was saved late in the frame by Chasteen, securing a 1-0 edge going into the lockerroom.
App State kept out of the gate in the second period on the attack with a flurry of shots including a pair of shots on goal by Camden Holbrook (Cary, N.C./Green Hope). App finally capitalized when Mason Robicheaux (Mandeville, La./St. Paul’s School) assisted on Ian Bennett’s (Wilmington, N.C./New Hanover) second goal of the season in as many games at the 60th minute to give the Black and Gold a 2-0 edge.
Just 10 minutes later, Bennett sent a high cross to an open Austin Hill (Graham, N.C./Southern Alamance) in which the junior had an easy opening for his first goal of the campaign and giving App a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Three different student-athletes scored and assisted showing off the plethora of Mountaineers who can do some damage. App held a convincing 18-5 advantage in shots (9-1 in SOG) and a 9-6 edge in corners.
Appalachian will hit the road next weekend for a big matchup against ETSU next Saturday at 7 p.m.