Late surge not enough as Mountaineers fall to Radford


Photo | Lindsey Honkomp

Monica Crawford

In their game against the Radford University Highlanders on Friday, the Appalachian State women’s soccer team left it all out on the field in an attempt to find the back of the net. With less than three minutes left in the game, the Mountaineers earned their 15th corner kick of the game, and even senior goalkeeper Megan Roberson sprinted up the field, leaving an empty net, to join the last-second attempt.

“That’s like the most exciting time for a goalkeeper, but it’s also the worst because it means your team is down,” Roberson said. “For us it was getting results and just finding that goal. Not that I was going to be the one to score, but for me to pull a defender away potentially so that we can.”

A goal-line save by Radford University’s goalkeeper kept the ball from going in, and the game ended in an 0-1 loss for the Mountaineers.

The sense of urgency shown by the Mountaineers in the last minutes of the game showed their determination to play all the way to the final whistle. Ratcheting up the intensity, the Mountaineers had three shots on goal in the final three minutes of the game and sophomore defender Lindsey Tully even received a yellow card in the 83th minute.

“I can honestly say that this game is going to help us in the long run, as far as in a Sun Belt Championship of being in the situation of ‘Did we show urgency at the end?’” head coach Sarah Strickland said. “’Did we create opportunities at the end?’”

Despite the fact that the Mountaineers did not come away with a victory, they controlled the ball for most of the game and had more scoring opportunities than the Highlanders. With multiple crosses coming in from the outside wings, runs out of the back by senior defender Merlin Beckwith, and 15 total corner kicks, the Mountaineers just could not finish.

“Our exchange runs were perfect, and we had several opportunities,” senior midfielder Kabrina Keys said. “We just couldn’t put it away today. It happens.”

The Mountaineers had 19 total shots on goal, five of them coming from senior forward Sam Childress. The Highlanders only had six shots on goal, but they were able to capitalize on a corner kick in the 30th minute.

The Mountaineers are set to play Mercer University on the road Sunday, and they plan to use this tough loss to move forward and improve as the season goes on.

“We play a really good team on Sunday, Mercer, and they won the SoCon tournament last year,” Roberson said. “So for us it’s going to be about how we rebound from this game to play against them on Sunday, and I think we can get a result for sure.”

Story by: Monica Crawford, Intern Sports Reporter