BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State University women’s soccer (3-2-1) stayed undefeated at home with a thrilling 4-3 victory over Gardner-Webb (2-3-1) on Sunday evening at Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.
The Mountaineers are now 3-0 at home this season and undefeated on the six-match homestand.
The Mountaineers received a number of contributions as three different players scored and three different players earned an assist. Lauren Burke (Mableton, Ga./Whitefield Academy) received her between the posts playing all 90 minutes en route to earning her first win as the starter.
It was a high-scoring affair while both teams combined for 23 shots, of which 17 were on target.
After GWU had come back from a 3-1 deficit to tie it up late in the game, Maggie Hanusek (Cumming, Ga./Lambert) stepped up after being fouled in the boxed and capitalized on a penalty kick in the 89th minute to lift Appalachian to the triumph. With the game-winning score and her second-half assist, it’s the second time this season Hanusek has notched a score and a helper.
“I thought the team showed a lot of resiliency,” head coach Sarah Strickland said when responding to GWU’s comeback. “I was telling the girls after the game the bench was huge and the crowd was incredible. There was a feeling of belief that we were going to win in regulation. This was a good Gardner-Webb team that we knew were coming in with some really good results. I though we held it together and continued to attack.”
The Mountaineers didn’t wait to strike first as Kristin Brown (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman) sent a perfect corner into the box where Ava Dawson (Greenville, N.C./DH Conley) headed in the shot to give App a 1-0 lead.
GWU would respond near midway through the first period on a penalty kick from Stina Kleppe to tie up the game at 1-apiece. Mary Perkins (Huntersville, N.C./Cox Mill) had a couple shots at the target but both were saved, leading to a 1-1 deadlock going into the break.
Once again, Appalachian started fast in the first 10 minutes of the second period when Hanusek crossed a perfect ball that only Dawson could get, which she headed it in for her second goal of the day. It’s the second time in her career (2017) she’s scored multiple goals in a game.
The Mountaineers tacked on another goal to make it 3-1 in the 70th minute when after a Perkins shot attempt ricochet off a GWU defender in the box, Blair Anderes (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park) was there at the right moment to send in the tally for her first-career goal in a Black and Gold uniform.
However, The Runnin’ Bulldogs made it interesting in the final 17 minutes of the contest. Jada Newton found the back of the net at 72′ to cut the deficit to one before Samuelle Grove scored with nine minutes left to tie up the contest.
Appalachian regrouped and made the plays it needed to put itself in the position to win the contest and improve to 4-3-1 against GWU.
The Mountaineers will return to action for a third home match on Thursday against North Florida at 7 p.m.