Women’s soccer ties Elon 3-3

Andrew Clausen

Appalachian State women’s soccer faced their second Southern Conference opponent Sunday afternoon as they tied with Elon 3-3 in a double-overtime game.

Elon scored within the first minute of the game and shut out the Mountaineers efforts to get in the box for the first half, leaving the Mountaineers’ shot count at one to the Phoenix’s three. The Mountaineers made their comeback in the second half scoring all three of their goals.

“Elon’s a great team – it’s always a big battle,” head coach Sarah Strickland said. “It’s a great rivalry. They have a great record, and they scored a lot of goals this year. We knew it wasn’t going to be a one-to-nothing game, and we knew we were going to have to commit from beginning to end.”

Jane Cline, a freshman on the team, scored the team’s first two goals at 64:04 and 72:45. Both of her goals were answered by the Phoenix scoring a minute and a half after Cline’s first goal and 6 minutes after her second goal.

The game looked like it was going to end in a 2-3 loss for the Mountaineers until sophomore Merlin Beckwith scored the goal in the last 50 seconds of regulation, sending the game into overtime.

“Every time they scored, I just knew we would have to come back out and score again because our mentality was to win,” Cline said. “We just kept coming and kept coming. We weren’t going to let down just because they kept scoring.”

Elon dominated corner kicks, taking nine to the Mountaineers three and scoring twice.

As the game closed on the last 10 minutes, App State started to play shutdown defense on all of Elon’s corner kicks to stop any more goals from going in.

“When it gets down to the last five minutes and you’re down a goal, you have to have grit in the box,” Beckwith said. “That’s what it comes down to is being there. We were in the right place at the right time and we kept pushing and pushing, but we lacked some discipline in the box and that’s what we need to work on.”

Both teams were dead even on fouls with nine, and ended up close in shot counts by the end with Elon racking up eight to App State’s 12.

The Mountaineers put their shot count into overdrive in the second half, taking seven in the second half and two in overtime to Elon’s three and two, respectively.

“The team was much more focused and recommitted to how the team plays and our team values,” Strickland said. “It’s kind of a reality check at half time to know exactly what was going on and what you have to do.”

With preseason over and all their games going to their SoCon record, the Mountaineers show confidence that didn’t always show in their pre-season record.

“This is my first time playing in [the SoCon] and it’s a completely different atmosphere,” Cline said. “I think we are adjusting to it really well and I think we’ve been putting our hearts out there and doing what we can do. We definitely came together as a team when we didn’t do as well in pre-season before our conference.”

App State will play their next SoCon game away against Georgia Southern on Friday.

Story: Jess Lyons, Intern Sports Reporter