Women’s soccer team rallies late to top Maryland 2-1

Redshirt+sophomore+Erin+Settle+goes+for+her+successful+shot+against+Maryland.+Settle+scored+the+first+goal+for+the+team+in+the+second+half.++Senior+forward+Jane+Cline+in+the+background+later+scored+the+winning+second+goal.+Photo+by+Dallas+Linger%2C+Photo+Editor

Dallas Linger

Redshirt sophomore Erin Settle goes for her successful shot against Maryland. Settle scored the first goal for the team in the second half. Senior forward Jane Cline in the background later scored the winning second goal. Photo by Dallas Linger, Photo Editor

John Robertson

App State women’s soccer team picked up their first ever win against a Power Five conference opponent after defeating the Maryland Terrapins 2-1 in a close game on Sunday afternoon.

In a non-conference game against a Big Ten opponent, the Mountaineers were focused, physical and ready for the challenge.

Despite falling behind 1-0 in the first half, App State had six more shot attempts than the Terrapins and dominated possession of the ball.

The second half was no different. Six Mountaineers finished with more than two shots on goal, perhaps none bigger than the one by sophomore forward Erin Settle that tied the game with just over 33 minutes remaining in regulation.

Settle made a diagonal run across the field and received an assist by sophomore Sarah Murphy that allowed her to sneak the equalizer into the corner of the net.

“When we came out from halftime we said, ‘Alright we’re going to get this first goal,’” Settle said. “Once we get that first goal, I think we are unstoppable.”

Continuing to press on offense, the Mountaineers capitalized on another opportunity with less than seven minutes remaining in the game. After several seconds of the ball playing pinball in the box, senior forward Jane Cline pounded the go ahead goal into the back of the net.

“We’ve been working on gritting the box,” Cline said. “Some goals are just scored like that, the balls bouncing around and I waited for my moment and when I had the chance I just put my whole body into it and it ended up in the back of the net.”

The goal was Cline’s fourth of the year, and 20th of her career, placing her fifth on App State’s all-time scoring list.

“It feels good but I haven’t really haven’t kept up with the goal count,” Cline said. “If I score and we win then great but I’m not too worried about the stats. I just love winning, especially against Maryland.”

Head coach Sarah Strickland said she was proud of her team for keeping intensity the entire game, whether they were on the sideline or on the field.

Despite the score, the team battled with the same concentration the entire game, to keep playing their game and have faith that shots would eventually find the net.

“Our team plays every minute, we don’t really shut down,” Strickland said. “We believe that every single minute counts.”

Winning against the Terrapins was a huge confidence booster for the team, but this win is not the definitive point of the season by any stretch of the imagination.

“Beating a Power Five school is exciting, but I would rather beat South Alabama for the conference championship,” Strickland said.

The Mountaineers look to carry momentum into their next game on the road Friday against Gardner Webb, followed by a home showdown against another Power Five conference opponent, Texas Tech next Sunday, a team currently ranked No. 15 in the country.

Story by: John Robertson, Sports Reporter