By David Rogers. October 22, 2017. BOONE, NC — Sunday’s final regular season match vs. Coastal Carolina had Appalachian State women’s soccer team in tears before the opening kickoff because it was “Senior Day” for the Mountaineers at Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex. Their eyes started “leaking” even more with the knowledge that their 1-0 win propelled them into the 8-team Sun Belt Conference tournament in Foley, Alabama, November 1-5.
COVER IMAGE: Morgan Mosack (20) “supervises” as Sarah Moon’s shot scoots past Coastal GK Rylee Atteberry in the first half. All photographic images by David Rogers for Blowing Rock News
Head coach Sarah Strickland has a simple strategy for scoring goals in close quarters in front of an opponent’s net: get six players in the box, fight for the ball, and slam it home. In the 34th minute of Sunday’s match against the Chanticleers, she got eight — and was rewarded with senior forward Sarah Moon emerging from what more closely resembled a rugby scrum to slip the ball past CCU freshman goalkeeper Rylee Atteberry for what turned out to be the decisive goal of the game.
Chanticleer head coach Paul Hogan recalled for reporters later, “I told our players coming into this match that App State would be desperate for the win because it was their Senior Day, the stands would be filled with parents and friends, and they needed the win if they had any hope for qualifying for the tournament. I told them to be prepared for a frenetic first ten minutes, at the very least.”
Appalachian gave Coastal just that, and more. While the Chanticleers settled things down a bit midway through the first half, the Mountaineers constant pressure took its toll and finally resulted in Moon’s score. App State’s women fought hard for this win and it was reflected in a whopping seven fouls being called on the home side, vs. just one against Coastal. Both sides found ways to attack in space, with App finishing with a 10-7 advantage in shots on goal.
Atteberry was credited with saves in protecting the net for the Chanticleers, while Taylor Ray recorded six saves for the Mountaineers.
Appalachian needed the win, but they also needed Georgia Southern to win on Sunday, too. The Eagles did their part in defeating Louisiana-Monroe, 2-0, in Statesboro, GA.
SLIDESHOW By David Rogers for Blowing Rock News