App State soccer kicks off season in scoreless draw with Liberty


Hiatt Ellis

Junior defender Mumu Guisasola challenges a Liberty opponent for the ball in a 0-0 draw Aug. 18, 2022.

Alex Urquiza, Reporter

App State soccer kicked off its season with a scoreless draw against Liberty University at Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex Thursday. The Mountaineers celebrated Senior Night, recognizing five players: Kerry Eagleston, Olivia Cohen, Liney Brantley, Hayley Boyles and Emma McGibany. 

“I like to celebrate Senior Day the first game of the season. It’s a good way to honor their entire season,” head coach Aimee Haywood said. “Nothing better than the first game under the lights.”

App State’s draw against Liberty was the first regular season game for Haywood, who was announced as the program’s new head coach last December. They clashed against Liberty, who were the co-champions of the Atlantic Sun Conference East Division last season. The matchup was a physical one as both sides played aggressively and gritty, both failing to score.

“I’m so glad we played them first because I think they made us better,” Haywood said. “They were fast, fit and physical, and getting that game experience early is really helpful for us as we build this team.”
Senior goalkeeper Eagleston had three saves against Liberty, registering a clean sheet. This was Eagleston’s 13th clean sheet in her career, moving her to the fourth most all-time in the program. 

“She’s steady back there and shows really strong leadership and consistency back there. It’s exactly what we need,” Haywood said.

Eagleston has been a huge player for the Mountaineers the past three years, with last season being one of her best statistically. Eagleston recorded 20 saves against Wake Forest last fall, one save off of breaking the program record, and she was also awarded the Sun Belt Defensive Player of the Week twice during the season. 

The Black and Gold’s next home game is Thursday against University Tennessee Martin at 7 p.m. The  Mountaineers host Student Appreciation Night for their matchup against UT Martin, with the first 50 students to arrive getting a free App State soccer T-shirt.