The Black and Gold were coming off an impressive three-game win streak heading into Tuesday’s game. The Apps looked to improve their streak but were cut short, as the Longwood Lancers were too much for the worn-out Mountaineers.
“Tonight was a tough one,” head coach Matt Nelson said. “The performance was OK. We held possession but didn’t have a sense of urgency in the attacking third.”
The first half of the game was rather sloppy as both teams struggled to challenge each other’s defense. The ball never left sight of midfield, ricocheting around player to player.
The second half was quite different from the start. Within one minute, junior forward Stephen Chapman sent a shot to the lower right corner of the goal and it was barely saved by goalkeeper Carlos Canas. Appalachian continued to raise the tempo, sending in cross after cross, none being successful.
Longwood eventually broke up App’s reign having a counter-attack in the 52nd minute.
Longwood’s forward Sherif Maalouf sped past the defending core making his way near the corner of the box. Maalouf set himself up at a bad angle and it appeared his only option was a cross, but instead he sent a shot miraculously reaching the top right corner of the net. App was then down a goal to Longwood, 1-0.
In the 74th minute, Longwood had another counter attack pushing up the right side again. Longwood forward Willy Miezan was able to outrun the remaining defenders and was one on one at the goal. Miezan rolled the ball off the outside of his right foot as Appalachian senior goalkeeper Paul West charged and missed the ball. Reacting quickly, center back Mason McCarter hopped in goal trying to block the shot with his body, but it wasn’t enough as the ball cruised into the top right corner of the goal.
The Mountaineers had a great run in the last 15 minutes firing shot after shot, but it wasn’t enough, as Longwood steamrolled by. App lost the game 2-0.
“I think if we came out in the first half with the urgency that we showed in the last fifteen minutes, it may have been a different result,” Nelson said.
App State travels to Virginia on Friday, taking on the Radford Highlanders (3-1-1). Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.