BOONE, N.C. – Lightning ended Friday evening’s contest early, but not before Appalachian State University women’s soccer (2-2-1) used three first-half goals to roll past South Carolina State, 3-0, at Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.
The Mountaineers are 2-0 at home this season while they have outscored both of their opponents 6-0 at Ted Mack. App is in the midst of a six-match homestand.
“One of our team goals is to have 50 percent of our shots be shots on goal and to get high-percentage shots,” head coach Sarah Strickland said. “I thought we created a lot of opportunities and I thought our services were great. The whole idea was to get numbers in the box, to finish and then also get a lot of girls significant minutes tonight.”
Lightning entered the area late in the second half, which led to the game being called with just under 14 minutes left in the contest.
App State was on the attack all evening with a season-high 11 SOG on a season-best 21 shots for a .528 shot on goal percentage. Appalachian also posted a 4-2 advantage in corners.
Molly Niewald (West End, N.C./Pinecrest) and Mary Perkins (Huntersville, N.C./Cox Mill) each scored their first-career goals, while Niewald scored twice in a span of eight minutes. Kristin Brown (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman) and Audrey Emerson (Gastonia, N.C./Forestview) earned their first assist of the season.
Taylor Ray (Indian Trail, N.C./Porter Ridge) notched the second clean sheet of her career and the first of the season. The senior goalkeeper played all 90 minutes en route to the victory, while the Black and Gold’s stout defense allowed South Carolina State to attempt just two shots outside of the box.
The Mountaineers didn’t waste any time in getting on the board, as Brown found Niewald with a cross before firing it in with a clear attempt, giving the freshman her first-collegiate goal.
Niewald wasn’t done there, as just eight minutes later she drew a penalty in the box. The West End, N.C., native capitalized on the opportunity and gave App a 2-0 lead following her shot that went into the right corner of the net for the second goal of the game.
With the App holding a comfortable lead at the 32-minute mark, Emerson found her fellow Mountaineer in Perkins with a perfect lead that led to the sophomore’s first-career score after firing in her goal in the left corner.
App took its 3-0 advantage in the second half and was never threatened the rest of the way, improving the Black and Gold’s mark to 9-0 all-time against the Bulldogs.
Six different Mountaineers recorded multiple shots while seven student-athletes had an attempt that was on target.
Appalachian will look to stay perfect at home on Sunday at 5 p.m. against a Gardner-Webb team that drew to a 1-1 tie against Navy on Friday evening.