BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State University women’s soccer (9-8-1, 6-4 SBC) used three second-half goals to knock off and snap Little Rock’s six-match win streak on Sunday afternoon at Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex in the regular-season finale.
With the win, App State is projected as the fourth seed and is slated to play projected No. 5 seed South Alabama this week in the Sun Belt Championship held in Foley, Ala.
The six wins in conference play are the most since joining the Sun Belt, while it’s the most league victories since the Apps won seven SoCon games in 2012.
“Little Rock is such a good program, and Mark Foster has done an amazing job with his team,” head coach Sarah Strickland said. “Last year we lost 3-1 at their place so to win here and create so many opportunities is huge.”
Appalachian handed LR (12-4-3, 7-2-1 SBC) its first loss since Sept. 14, and the three goals allowed by LR is the most suffered in Sun Belt play and ties a season high. The Mountaineers have defeated two of the
top three Sun Belt teams in the Trojans and Coastal Carolina earlier this season.
Trailing 1-0 in the second period, Kat Greer (Cayce, S.C./Brookland Cayce) sent a corner right to Emmily Cowie (Davidson, N.C./W.A/ Hough) who then found Maggie Hanusek (Cumming, Ga./Lambert) for the goal that tied up the contest in the in the 61st minute.
The offense continued the attack in the 75th minute when Molly Niewald (West End, N.C./Pinecrest) intercepted a Little Rock pass on its own end before finding a breaking Amber Anderson (Indian Trail, N.C./Sun Valley) in in the box for the shot in the back of the net, giving Anderson her first-career game-winner and second goal in the past three games.
Appalachian’s offense didn’t stop there as Kristin Brown (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman) struck a free kick right into the left side of the net over the goalkeeper to push the lead to 3-1. It was Brown’s first goal of the season of her career.
The defense dug in as well in the second half. After LR attempted five shots on goal and one score in the opening stanza, the Mountaineers allowed just one shot and zeroes on the scoreboard. Taylor Ray (Indian Trail, N.C./Porter Ridge) posted five saves in 90 minutes to aid in the triumph.
App State doubled LR in shots, 14-7, and an 8-6 edge in shots on goal with six of its SOG coming in the second period. The Mountaineers also held an 8-1 advantage in corner kicks.
The Mountaineers will surely be a dangerous four seed with the momentum-gaining victory going into the postseason. Official seeding and times for the Sun Belt Championship will be announced at a later time.
– App State is 8-0 when scoring multiple goals. It’s the sixth time this season the Mountaineers have scored at least three times.
– The six home wins by App is tied for the most home wins since Appalachian won six in 2006 and the highest number of home victories since 2003 when the Black and Gold captured eight home victories.
– App State snaps a two-game skid to LR and is now 3-2-1 in the all-time series.
– Ray’s five stops puts her at 129 for her career and is eighth all-time in career saves. She is three away from surpassing current App State head coach, Amy Kolowsky, from moving into seventh.