ASU beats Western, set to host first quarterfinal since 2007

Anne Buie

In the final game before the Southern Conference tournament, Appalachian’s women’s soccer team beat Western Carolina University Wednesday evening.

The Mountaineers improve to 10-7-1 (7-3-1 SoCon) to finish the regular season as the Catamounts fall to 7-10-2 (3-6-2).

The opening minutes of the first-half consisted of good ball movement and strong defense on both sides as the Catamounts fought for the final tournament seed.

The Mountaineers had several close attempts at goals including a shot-on-goal from freshman Samantha Childress.

Western Carolina only had one far attempt from Samantha Hodge leading to a scoreless halftime.

Appalachian came out on the attack in the second half, which lead to a score by senior Meggie Graham at the 31:30 mark.

“I thought the whole game we did a really good job just keeping possession,” Graham said. “It was a team effort in order to get the win tonight.

Hannah Coad, whose assist led to the eventual game-winning goal, said they if they scored one goal “it would break them.”

“We just had to keep fighting and fighting until we got that one goal,” Coad said. “Once that goal came, we knew our whole job was just to keep the lead and we were completely successful doing that.”

The Mountaineers strengthened their defense further in the second half as they kept the Catamounts out of the box until the 22-minute mark when Savannah Ward missed left a one-on-one shot againstAppalachian’s second-half goalkeeper Amy Kolowsky.

“Our defense was solid because we all moved together as one,” Coad said.

Appalachian’s woman’s soccer team is set to host their first SoCon tournament game in since it started in 1994.

Coach Sarah Strickland said this team is special because they are invested and they bought in to the system.

“They all truly believe in what we’re doing,” Strickland said. “I think that’s been the biggest change this year is just having a group that really believes in putting everybody in front of yourself.”

No. 4 Appalachian will play in their first SoCon tournament quarterfinal match since 2007 at 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 28 at home against No. 5 Elon.


Story: ANDREW CLAUSEN, Sports Reporter