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Mountaineer soccer gets dominating win over FCGU on Senior Day

Sophomore+forward+Reagan+Sturgill+prepares+a+shot+against+FGCU+Sept.+3.
Courtesy of Michael Mann, App State Athletics
Sophomore forward Reagan Sturgill prepares a shot against FGCU Sept. 3.

App State soccer welcomed the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles Sunday, for an early Senior Day celebration. The Mountaineers got a dominant 3-0 victory and honored nine seniors who will be graduating after the season. 

“This senior class is the heartbeat of the team,” head coach Aimee Haywood said. “They get this team going. They’re the reason we’re seeing so much success and I can’t say enough about this group, they’re just amazing.” 

Senior forward Izzi Wood took little time to get started as she received a beautiful ball from junior forward Stephanie Barbosa and blew it past the Eagles goalkeeper for her third goal of the season, setting the match at 1-0 in the 15th minute. 

“I was super happy to get on the scoreboard that early,” Wood said. “I think that really helped us throughout the game and of course, I do it for my team and especially my fellow seniors.”

While the seniors were getting the love they deserved, sophomore midfielder Lela Stark scored her first career goal off of a Black and Gold corner kick that went loose in the box. Sophomore forward Reagan Sturgill was able to corral the ball and pass to Stark for the goal in the 36th minute.

The Mountaineers ended the half up 2-0 after a dominating first half offensive performance that saw the team outshoot the Eagles 11-1 at intermission. 

While the offense stole the show in the first half with 11 shots, the App State defensive line has been on a tear to start the year and this match was no different. The Mountaineer defense allowed only one shot the entire first half and three the whole match. This defensive performance marked the fourth consecutive shutout for the Mountaineers.  

“The backline is super important, they come out every game and have been making every tackle they need to. They’ve put in so much effort over the last five games and the one goal allowed shows for it,” graduate student goalkeeper Kerry Eagleston said. 

The second half was much of the same as the Black and Gold came out of the locker room hungry for another goal as Barbosa put in five shots in the half, and two on back-to-back possessions with unbelievable footwork to slide past the defense, but came up empty both times down the field. 

As the game began to dwindle and became out of reach for the Eagles, Haywood subbed her two star forwards out with seven minutes left and not 30 seconds later Sturgill netted one after sophomore defender Aleesia Ambrosio sent a ball in the perfect lane to get Sturgill her first career goal. This win brought the Mountaineers to 3-1-1 on the year. 

“Hopefully we keep this shutout streak going for a while,” Haywood said. “We have a strong group back there with so many experienced veterans so I’m confident in their abilities.” 

App State soccer is back in action Thursday as they travel to Cullowhee to take on the Western Carolina Catamounts. 

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About the Contributor
Trey Blake
Trey Blake, Reporter
Trey Blake (he/him) is a sophomore digital journalism major, media studies minor, from Clayton, NC. This is his second year writing for The Appalachian.
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