Aug. 20, 2012. Appalachian State University women’s soccer opens its regular season on the road, looking to avenge last season’s loss against ACC opponent Clemson on Friday, Aug. 17 at 7 p.m.
Head coach Sarah Strickland enters her third season leading the Mountaineers and with her next victory, Strickland will move into second place for most wins by an ASU coach. The Apps will look to rebound after a 6-11-2 overall record and a10th place finish in the Southern Conference last season.
“We have been ready for nine months for tomorrow,” Strickland said of the start of the season on Friday. “It is great to get this group to where they can show what they have been working on. It is also sad to see our seniors play in their last season, they are the core of this team. I expect this to be the best season we have ever had under their leadership.”
Four seniors return for the Mountaineers, led by defender Taylor Dunlap who has played in every game since her freshman season. Former Southern Conference all-Freshman Team honoree Meggie Graham leads the forward position, as Sam McVeigh and Hannah Coad bring senior leadership to the midfield.
Last season’s leading goal-scorer, sophomore Julia Holz, also returns to the App State lineup, along with sophomore Amy Kolowsky who posted the seventh most saves in a season in school history with 95.
Appalachian wrapped up its preseason on Sunday with a 1-1 draw against East Tennessee State. Three days earlier, the Apps tallied a 2-0 victory over Big South favorite Campbell on a rain soaked field.
Clemson is also looking to bounce back in 2012 after finishing with a 6-12 overall record last season. Head coach Eddie Radwanski begins his second season as the head coach for the Tigers after being the head coach at UNC Greensboro for 10 seasons.
Radwanski returns his three top goal scorers from a season ago as senior Maddy Elder, junior Vanessa Laxgang and sophomore Liska Dobberstein combined for 20 goals in 2011. In last season’s meeting, Dobberstein scored the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over the Apps.
– This will be the third meeting between Appalachian and Clemson with the Tigers winning the previous two matches. Last season, the Tigers captured a 1-0 victory in a match that saw two weather delays.
– The Apps are still searching for their first win against an ACC opponent. The Mountaineers are 0-8 all time against the conference.
– A pair of high school teammates will match-up, as Appalachian sophomore Nicole Steyl will face Dobberstein. Both players attended high school at Audrey Kell High School in Charlotte, N.C.
– The Mountaineers continue their early season road trip when they travel to Austin Peay on Friday, Aug. 24. That match is set for 7 p.m.