Oct. 1, 2012. Appalachian State University women’s soccer claimed two victories over the weekend against Georgia Southern and Davidson. The first of the wins was against GSU. Sophomore forward Julia Holz’s goal in the eighth minute was all Appalachian State University women’s soccer needed, as the Mountaineers earned their second conference victory of the season over Georgia Southern 1-0 Friday night at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.
Battling injuries to starters Jenna Caudle and Sam Neill and key reserve player, Kate Ward, the Apps improve their record to an even 5-5 overall mark and 2-1 in Southern Conference play. GSU falls to 5-3-3 overall and 1-2 in the league.
“Thankfully we’re pretty deep on this year’s team and we have so many girls that stepped up,” head coach Sarah Strickland said. “I thought the girls definitely came to play tonight.”
The Mountaineers did not waste much time getting on the scoreboard as senior midfielder Hannah Coad slipped a pass through the GSU defenders to the feet of Holz. Holz was able to get a touch before chipping in the shot over the head of a diving Georgia Southern goalkeeper, Katie Merson. For the sophomore, it was her fourth goal of the season, propelling the forward to the team’s leading scorer.
After the goal, Appalachian’s defense shined for the entire opening half, allowing Georgia Southern to fire off just three shots for the first 45 minutes.
The defense continued the pressure in the second half, claiming their third clean sheet of the season. Freshman goalkeeper Megan Roberson tallied three saves on the night as the Eagles took just seven shots for the match.
“I thought the backline played really clean tonight,” Strickland said. “Our team defending was great overall, our girls earned this win.”
App State was on the attacking end for most of the match, getting off 15 shots as four came on goal. Holz led the team with two shots on goal, while freshman defender Merlin Beckwith and freshman forward Samantha Childress each troubled Merson once.
Davidson was next on schedule for the Mountaineers. This game makes it the first time since 2009 that women’s soccer has defeated Georgia Southern and Davidson in the same season. It took over 108 minutes, but Appalachian State University women’s soccer got its golden goal from sophomore Grace McCall, as her first career score clinched the 1-0 double-ovetime victory over Southern Conference opponent Davidson Sunday afternoon at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.
With the conference victory, the Mountaineers currently enjoy a three-match winning streak and improve their overall record to 6-5 and their conference mark to 3-1. The Wildcats fall to 4-6-2 on the season and 1-2-1 in the SoCon.
“I’m really proud,” head coach Sarah Strickland said. “With our team, we believe they’re all invested and that they all have a role and I’m just proud of the way they played.”
Appalachian found itself on the attacking end for the majority of the opening half, closing the first 45 minutes with eight shots compared to Davidson’s three. The Apps managed four shots on goal, but could not find the back of the net as the teams went into halftime, scoreless.
The teams continued their deadlock in the second half as both teams struggled offensively. At the end of regulation, App State controlled the shots on goal category, 5-2.
As the teams went into the first overtime, the Wildcats struck first with a quick shot from Rachel Stelter. Freshman goalkeeper Megan Roberson was able to make her third save of the match, keeping the Mountaineers alive.
After a scoreless first overtime period, the teams seemed content to settle for a draw until the Apps were awarded a corner kick in the 108th minute. Senior forward Meggie Graham lofted the ball and into the box and McCall got a deflection, lifting to ball over Davidson goalkeeper Rachel Locke’s head for the game-winner. For McCall, it was just her fourth match played this season and her first collegiate goal.
“For Grace to step in and score the winning goal is just amazing,” Strickland said. “She has an unbelievable heart to go along with an unbelievable work ethic. She is always fully invested.”
The backline, led by senior Taylor Dunlap and junior Amy Werdine was superb this afternoon, allowing Davidson to only record three shots on goal. Roberson earned her second clean sheet of the weekend, closing the match with three saves.
“For Megan Roberson to get two shutouts on the weekend is fantastic,” Strickland said. “She made some big saves when she needed them and our backline was fantastic this afternoon.”
The Mountaineers return to conference play as they begin a four-match road stretch beginning in Chattanooga on Friday, Oct. 5. Kickoff from UTC is set for 7 p.m.