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Mountaineers get late score in draw against James Madison

Graduate+student+goalkeeper+Kerry+Eagleston+prepares+to+kick+a+ball+downfield+against+James+Madison+Sept.+24.+Eagleston+set+a+school+record+416+saves+this+season.
Max Sanborn
Graduate student goalkeeper Kerry Eagleston prepares to kick a ball downfield against James Madison Sept. 24. Eagleston set a school record 416 saves this season.

App State soccer welcomed James Madison to The Valley Sunday for a match that went down to the wire, before freshman forward Summer Bowman found an 89th-minute equalizer to finish the fixture at a 1-1 draw.

“We feel like we deserve more respect,” head coach Aimee Haywood said. “It’s a huge opportunity to play the team that was picked first in the conference but we were right there, leading them in shots is a big deal for us and this draw is going to go a long way in earning respect for the program.”

The match started with App State attempting to come out fast and apply pressure on the Dukes’ back line, but every time James Madison had possession they slowly built the ball up the field. The change of pace was no issue for senior forward Izzi Wood, who received the ball off of two booming clears on back-to-back possessions, but came up empty on both shots. 

Other than those two early shot attempts, the Black and Gold struggled keeping the Dukes out of their half through the first 25 minutes. Three narrow misses from JMU put App State on their back foot. The defense eventually cracked due to the constant pressure as a Dukes’ forward flew past the Mountaineer defense and sent it past graduate student goalkeeper Kerry Eagleston. 

After the JMU goal, App State returned on the attack and found success as junior midfielder Katie Fuller and sophomore defender Shannon Studer each produced phenomenal tackles that ended up finding junior forward Stephanie Barbosa as she darted up the field, but neither could find the back of the net. 

As the Mountaineers began to get back into the game, the crowd picked up their intensity too. The team fed off the energy, continuing offensive pushes but the shots weren’t falling as JMU defenders were able to deflect the ball away from their goal.

 “We had a really great fan turnout today and they gave all their passion to the game today,” Haywood said.

Although the midfield was creating chances for the forwards and the fans were getting behind the team, no ball seemed to reach the net and App State went into intermission trailing 1-0.

“We could have been a little more organized,” Haywood said. “We had some chances, but they didn’t go in so we need to work on that.”

After the break, the pace stayed the same as it was in the first half. JMU continued putting pressure on the box and App State would clear downfield attempting to find a forward, but neither plan was able to give their team a goal.

As the match progressed, the game stayed in the Dukes’ favor. A ball found Wood in the middle, but the second she touched the ball a swarm of purple surrounded her, forcing a bad shot. After that, App State went full-on attack as they plucked a ball from a JMU midfielder and raced down the field with Wood leading the attack and Bowman following close behind. Wood dumped it off to Bowman for a shot that bounced off the crossbar, but fell right back to her and blew it past the Dukes’ goalkeeper to bring the match to a finish at 1-1.

“Honestly, I’m thinking that I have to score,” Bowman said. “I owe it to my team and they’re out there working for me so I’m going to work for them.”

This win keeps the Mountaineers undefeated at home where they have outscored opponents 8-1.

“We give our all for App State especially when we’re here and we have a lot of pride when we play at home,” Haywood said.

App State soccer is back in action this Friday as they take on the Georgia Southern Eagles in Boone. The match can be streamed on ESPN+.

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About the Contributors
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.
Max Sanborn
Max Sanborn, Photographer
Max Sanborn (he/him) is a sophomore Commercial Photography Major, from Indian trail, NC. This is his first year with The Appalachian.
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