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Mountaineer field hockey earns first top 10 win in program history

Freshman+midfielder+Kassie+Paul+battles+a+Cardinal+player+for+possession+Oct.+22.+App+State+earned+their+first+top+10+win+in+defeating+Louisville+2-1.
Courtesy of Andy McLean, App State Athletics
Freshman midfielder Kassie Paul battles a Cardinal player for possession Oct. 22. App State earned their first top 10 win in defeating Louisville 2-1.

Mountaineer field hockey had an action-packed weekend facing both Ball State and No. 8 Louisville. 

App State won their match against Ball State 1-0, their sixth consecutive victory clinching a spot in the MAC tournament in head coach Emily Dinsmore’s first year. 

The Black and Gold posted their third consecutive shutout thanks to strong defense and play from fifth-year goalkeeper Addie Clark who recorded eight saves. 

“It’s always rewarding to post a shutout,” Clark said. 

The Cardinals went on the offensive to start the first period. However, all of their early shots were stopped by Clark. Freshman midfielder Sophia Baxter found sophomore forward Lise Boekaar for App State’s one and only goal. 

The Black and Gold took a 1-0 lead heading into the second period. Sophomore forward Hadley Kuzmicky had a good scoring chance saved by Cardinal goalkeeper Hannah Johnston. Neither team scored and the Mountaineers recorded their six consecutive shutout half. 

The third period saw multiple opportunities for both teams. However, Clark and Johnston had a shutout period.  

The fourth period started with a shot attempt from sophomore defender Sarah Callery, but it was saved by the Cardinals. 

The Mountaineers secured a 1-0 win and clinched a consecutive trip to the MAC tournament. 

“I’m super proud of the team and the way they have persevered this season,” Dinsmore said. “We scored early today and that was a difference maker, but the defense stood strong for the third time in a row. The effort and fight from the team today was amazing.”

The second game of the weekend saw the Mountaineers travel to Louisville, Kentucky to face off against the No. 8 Louisville Cardinals Sunday. 

The Mountaineers made history with a 2-1 win, marking the first win against a top ten opponent in program history, and the first victory over an ACC opponent since 1999. 

Clark saved all 15 of the Cardinals’ corners along with 12 shots in regulation. 

The Black and Gold started the first period with a couple of good chances, but were all stopped by Louisville. 

Junior midfielder Sarah Perkins blocked a Cardinal shot to maintain the scoreless tie. Senior forward Leah Hurwitz found the back of the cage to open up the second period of play. The Mountaineers then scored the first goal in seven straight games. 

Boekaar had a good look at the cage, but the shot was saved by the Cardinals.

Senior midfielder Grace Ball had a crucial save on a Louisville penalty corner to give the Mountaineers their eighth consecutive shutout half. 

Clark saved an early Cardinal penalty corner to maintain the lead. However, Louisville forward Chloe Plumb scored soon after to knot the score at 1-1. 

  The fourth period was a stalemate as neither side scored, forcing the game into overtime. 

Louisville held possession for the majority of the first overtime period. The Mountaineer defense continued to dominate and stop all attacks. The match remained tied through the period. 

The second overtime was again headlined by the Mountaineers defense and Clark saved five Cardinal shots in the period. With the match tied after overtime, the game headed into a shootout.

Goals from Baxter and Ball helped tie the shootout going into the final attempts. Freshman midfielder Florine Koopman would be the hero for the Mountaineers as her shot sealed the win against the ranked Cardinals.

“Beating Louisville on their home turf on their senior day is a crazy feeling,” Ball said. 

The Black and Gold will look to carry this momentum into their home match Oct. 27 against Ohio at 3 p.m. The match can be streamed on Twitch, YouTube and the App State Field Hockey Facebook page.

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About the Contributor
Max Schwanz, Reporter
Max Schwanz (he/him) is a freshman journalism major, business minor, from Cornelius, NC. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
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