The Appalachian State women’s soccer team (0-3-2) remained winless in the season after a 1-1 overtime draw with the UNC Greensboro Spartans (1-3-1) on Friday night in a foggy and raining game.
App State returned to Boone after a loss to Northern Kentucky looking for their first win of the season after bringing in a measly single point from four games with a record of 0-3-1. UNCG entered the game coming off of a 0-4 loss to Clemson.
A major talking point of the game was the weather, as fog lowered visibility to the point where nobody could see the other side of the field. An entire day of poor weather set up the game to be a sloppy affair, and a light rain returned at the start of the second half, but dissipated not too long after.
UNCG opened the first half putting pressure on the Mountaineer defense with every chance they got. Captain Melanie Spensiero and junior Caylin Prillaman led the Spartans’ attack, but Appalachian’s freshman goalie Lauren Burke and the rest of the defense held strong. The Mountaineer offense struggled to get going against UNCG’s stingy defense, with Appalachian not breaking.
Despite the commanding play of their defense, the Mountaineers struggled to find their footing on the wet turf, and repeatedly coughed up possessions while not being able to mount any serious challenges to the opposition’s goal. After the 30-minute mark however, they were able to mount serious pressure on the Spartans’ defense, and both teams spent the waning minutes of the half applying tons of pressure on either side. The backlines held firm though, and the game went into the half with a scoreless draw.
Coming out firing on all cylinders in the second half despite not having any player take more than one shot in regulation, Appalachian’s offense played a control-based attack game and kept pressure building in the opposition’s half, led by junior midfielder Emmily Cowie.
The breakthrough finally came in the 64-minute mark with sophomore midfielder Ava Dawson scoring from the edge of the box with a lightning-strike of a shot. It was Dawson’s first goal as a Mountaineer, and it came at the right time as Appalachian took a 1-0 lead.
UNCG continued to apply pressure to Appalachian’s backline, as Prillaman and freshman forward Quiqui Hita ran an effective counter-attack. It appeared to be over for the Spartans at the 70-minute mark when Prillaman went down with a scary injury to her right leg, but the team kept powering forward.
With 15 minutes left, Hita received an outstanding through-ball from sophomore Grace Regal. Hita found herself in a one-on-one situation with App State’s freshman goalie Lauren Burke and she tapped it in past to bring UNCG up to 1-1.
The Mountaineers had a brief glimmer of a win with five minutes left as Cowie put an arching cross into the box for senior forward Sharon Osterbind, but Osterbind’s header went wide of the goal by inches.
With the game ending at a 1-1 tie, the teams went into overtime. Both teams played with a frantic pace in the first 10-minute half of overtime, but the two squads remained evenly-matched through the first half of the extra period.
A little over a minute remaining in the second half, UNCG’s Cienna Rideout got a scary one-on-one opportunity against Burke, and appeared to have the perfect opening.
Sophomore forward Jessica Easley came flying in at the last second for the Mountaineers, and was able to make a heroic save before colliding with the goal post. Easley was down for a moment, but the forward popped up after a tense few moments on the ground. A little over a minute later, the game ended with a 1-1 tie.
On Sunday, the Mountaineers (0-4-2) traveled to Texas to face Texas Tech, but were outshot 23-6 in a 4-0 loss. Having only one shot on goal in the game, the Mountaineers will continue to look for their win of the season when they face Davidson at home on Thursday at 7:30 p.m.
Story By: Ian Taylor, Sports Reporter
Photos By: Lindsay Vaughn, Senior Staff Photographer