FAIRFAX, Va. – Appalachian State University men’s soccer (6-2-1) bounced back with a 3-0 triumph against George Mason (2-4) at George Mason Stadium on Saturday evening.
With the win, App State surpassed last season’s win total while picking up their first win over the Patriots.
Great, complete, team performance tonight,” head coach Jason O’Keefe said after the win. “We weathered some good spells by them (George Mason)in the first half then executed our game plan and guys stepped up. Goals change games and they did tonight.”
Zeiko Harris (Sandys Parish, Bermuda/South Kent) highlighted the Apps’ victory with first-career multi-score game, scoring a pair of goals. Aldo Tarantini (Houston, Texas/Bellaire) notched his first-career collegiate goal, becoming the fourth freshman for App to score the season.
Jake Chasteen (Boone, N.C./Watauga) notched his conference-leading fourth clean sheet of the season with three stops in 90 minutes. After the victory, the Boone native’s goals against average is now at an impressive .75, which is the second lowest in the conference.
Appalachian struck first in the 38th minute when Justin Pruitt (Matthews, N.C./Weddington) sent a cross from the left side to Tarantini who then fired a diving shot from 10 yards outside of the net to give App a 1-0 lead.
The Mountaineers continued the attack in the first period and capitalized just three minutes later as Felix Kollmannthaler (Frankfurt, Germany/Julius-Echter-Gymnasium) served up a long pass from midfield to Harris for a header just 10 yards outside of the goal. App held the 2-0 lead going into the break.
George Mason came away with just three shots on goal in the contest, two of which came in the second period. Chasteen stopped both attempts in the 69th minute and later as time was winding down at 89′. App tacked on its third goal with 12 minutes left to play when Ian Bennett’s (Wilmington, N.C./New Hanover) free-kick was loose and Harris provided the rest with the second score to give the Mountaineers a commanding 3-0 advantage.
“Anytime you can go on the road, get a shutout and score three goals, it’s great,” O’Keefe continued. “We will recover and then focus to Saturday’s Sun Belt opener at Ted Mack! Come out and cheer the team on at 7 p.m. against Georgia State.”
App held an 8-3 edge in shots on goal and a 15-14 advantage in total attempts.
App State will now start conference play next Saturday at 7 p.m. against Georgia State at Ted Mackorell.
– App State tied a season high in goals, both of which have come on the road
– The Mountaineers six wins are the most since 2015 (10 wins)
– App is 5-0 this season when allowing three or fewer shots on goal
– Appalachian has attempted at least five shots on goal in seven of nine games this season
– App State has scored 15 goals in the first nine contests this season. The Mountaineers scored just 12 in 2017