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Somersall, Phillips Lead Men’s Soccer Past UNCA, 3-1-1 in Last Five Games

Appalachian State University men's soccer improved to 3-1-1 in their last five matches after defeating UNC Asheville 2-1 on Tuesday evening. Courtesy: Tim Cowie / App State Athletics
Appalachian State University men’s soccer improved to 3-1-1 in their last five matches after defeating UNC Asheville 2-1 on Tuesday evening. Courtesy: Tim Cowie / App State Athletics

Sophomore Raheem Somersall scored his first career goal and game-winner as Appalachian State men’s soccer blew past UNC Asheville, 2-1, on Tuesday night.

The streaking Mountaineers (3-5-1) are 3-1-1 in their last five games, including two-straight wins on the road while the Bulldogs (2-7-0) dropped their third-straight nonconference match.

“I’m very proud and pleased for the guys,” head coach Jason O’Keefe said. “They are staying focused and working hard every day. We are 3-1-1 in our last five games with back-to-back road wins. We need to recover and get back to work tomorrow. We are excited to come back home for our next two games and play in front of our fans.”

Appalachian State came out of the gates on a mission, as senior Jordan Melia found Somersall 25 yards out for a scorcher to the lower right corner in just the sixth minute of the match.

The Mountaineer defense then held strong for the next 27 minutes before sophomore Ian Bennett and junior Rian Phillips got out on a breakaway play to make the next attack. Bennett fired a shot at the goalkeeper, who couldn’t control the ball before Phillips came in and finished it off.  The goal is Phillips’ second of his Appalachian career and his second-straight match with a goal.

UNC Asheville was able to get a goal on the board to avoid the shutout when Andrew Lawrence found some room to work and fired one in through the upper-left corner in 68th minute.

Defending the goal for the Mountaineers again was Jake Agnew. Agnew had four saves on the day, facing 10 shots on the day and only allowing the one goal. In his three starts, he remains unbeaten, posting a 2-0-1 record.

Back To Back

The Mountaineers have been able to find a rhythm as of late, winning three of their last five matches and tying one. Since Sept. 13, App State has  put together an impressive eight goals, five assists and 68 shots (31 on goal – .456 shot-on-goal percentage).

Leading the Black and Gold on Tuesday in shots was freshman Graham Smalley with three shots and one on goal. Behind him was Somersall, Melia and Phillips, each having two shots and one on goal.

Sophomore Felix Kollmannthaler rounded out the on goal efforts with one, while seniors Keegan TanakaJohn Walrath and Donovan Japp all finished with one shot each.

Since Sept. 13, App State has outscored opponents 8-6, while outshooting them 68-50 with a 31-25 advantage on goal.

Looking Forward

The Mountaineers great a week off from play before returning for a two-match homestand. Appalachian first faces off with Presbyterian on Tuesday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. before beginning Sun Belt Conference play by hosting Howard on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 7 p.m.