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Mountaineers get most wins since 2018 in 1-0 victory vs. Georgia State

Senior+forward+Izzi+Wood+dribbles+the+ball+around+a+Panther+defender+Oct.+27.+Wood+finished+the+regular+season+with+a+team+leading+seven+goals.
Courtesy of Matt Present, App State Athletics
Senior forward Izzi Wood dribbles the ball around a Panther defender Oct. 27. Wood finished the regular season with a team leading seven goals.

App State soccer took on Georgia State in Atlanta Thursday night for a match that saw the Mountaineers take the match 1-0, and clinch a first-round bye in the upcoming Sun Belt tournament. 

The game marked multiple records for the team as the win placed the Black and Gold fourth heading into the Sun Belt tournament, their highest seeding ever. Graduate student goalkeeper Kerry Eagleston set the school record for shutouts with 25. This marks the eighth shutout, setting the program record for shutouts in a season.

The matchup began slow with each side sending it back and forth to start the game before the Panthers took their first shot in the seventh minute. After the slow start, the two sides switched pace as each team’s midfield sliced through finding forwards, but no goal came from any of the chances. 

The middle of the half stayed with the same pace that had taken over the game after the slow start. Senior forward Izzi Wood and junior forward Stephanie Barbosa continued to receive great through balls from the midfield, but chances from the star forwards were either stopped or off target. Then, freshman forward Summer Bowman received a ball from senior defender Mumu Guisasola, placing it perfectly in the bottom right corner to give App State a 1-0 lead in the 29th minute. 

The rest of the half saw the Mountaineers become defensive and unwilling to allow the Panthers to get out of their midfield, allowing two shots in the final 15 minutes. Sophomore defender Shannon Studer made her presence felt to end the half by clearing multiple Georgia State chances, ending the half 1-0. 

The second half saw the Black and Gold continue their defensive presence only allowing two shots through the first 10 minutes. The Panthers pressed the ball down the field, but found themselves unable to finish as an App State defender either directly blocked the shot or deflected the ball off target. 

A scary moment came when Wood collided with a Georgia State defender and saw her hit the pitch hard as she needed a moment to get up. Wood continued to play on for a couple of minutes until being subbed off and not seen for the rest of the match. Wood is the team’s leader in goals, shots, points and is seventh in the nation in game-winning goals at five. 

The App State defense continued their unrelenting defensive and midfield presence, not allowing any Panther a chance to get close to the net. The team finished out the regular season doing what they do best, shutting offenses down and finishing games, winning 1-0. 

This win sets up App State in prime position for a deep run in the Sun Belt tournament, placing fourth in a talented conference. The Mountaineers will play Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against fifth seed JMU, a team that Black and Gold beat in their lone matchup this season. The match will be streamed on ESPN+.

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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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