BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State University women’s soccer (6-4-1, 3-0-0 SBC) hosts Texas State (6-5-1, 4-0-1 SBC) in a showdown of the top two teams in the Sun Belt on Friday at Ted Mack at 7 p.m. Appalachian will then host Louisiana (3-7-2, 2-2 SBC) on Sunday for Senior Day at 12 p.m.
Previewing the Match
App State and TXST are two of the top three scoring teams in the Sun Belt, as Appalachian has scored 18 goals to TXST’s 17 goals. The two squads are the only teams in the league without a conference loss. The Mountaineers have averaged two goals per game this season at home while putting up 12 goals in the four home victories. Appalachian will look to knock off its second undefeated team in league action, as it defeated previously unbeaten Coastal Carolina, 2-0 last weekend.
About the Mountaineers
The Mountaineers are off to their first-ever 3-0 start to Sun Belt play since joining the conference in 2014. Scoring the first goal and never looking back was Blair Anderes (Charlotte, N.C./Myers Park), who took a service kick from Jessica Easley (Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge) before scoring the goal. Maggie Hanusek (Cumming, Ga./Lambert) earned her team-leading seventh point of the season when she sent a perfect cross to Jessica Peters (Mooresville, N.C./Mooresville) for her first collegiate goal. Taylor Ray (Indian Trail, N.C./Porter Ridge) had herself a stellar performance for her second clean sheet of the season, stopping a personal-high eight shots in 12 attempts faced. It was the first Sun Belt shutout of league action for the Mountaineers
Easley Named Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week
After scoring an assist in the win and aiding in the Apps’ triumph over the Chanticleers, the Waxhaw, N.C. native was named the conference’ defensive player of the week for the first time in her career. She joins Lauren Burke (Mableton, Ga./Whitefield Academy) and Kat Greer (Cayce, S.C./Brookland Cayce) as three of the Mountaineers who have won weekly league honors.
On Sunday against the Ragin’ Cajuns, the Mountaineers will recognize Ray, Alexa Asher (Raleigh, N.C./Millbrook), Jamie Palermo (Chapel Hill, N.C./Northwood), Easly, Greer, Sarah Murphy (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor), Anderes and Emmily Cowie (Davidson, N.C./W.A. Hough) for their commitment to the program. Seven of the eight have enjoyed a pair of Sun Belt Tournament wins and two 10-win campaigns in 2015 and 2016.
Scouting Texas State
The Bobcats are the other team in the Sun Belt besides App who have yet to lose a conference match. TXST is 4-0-1 in its last five matches, all in conference play, since a 2-1 setback to then-No. 18 Texas. TXST has the league’s leading goal-getter in Kaylee Davis with 10 scores and the top goalkeeper in Heather Martin, as her .673 goals-against average and .895 save percentage leads the Sun Belt.
The Ragin Cajuns have won their last two conference matches in a pair of 1-0 victories against UL Monroe and Arkansas State. UL will face Coastal Carolina on Friday in its first match of the weekend. Una Einarsdottir leads the way with two goals, while several players have scored at least one goal. Victoria Ryan ( 7 starts) and Mackenzie Lee (5 starts) have split time between the post. Ryan has the better goals against average of the two at 1.48 and a .718 save percentage.