Appalachian State University men’s soccer wrapped up its regular season, Saturday, riding a two-match winning streak, as the Mountaineers knocked off Davidson 2-0 on senior night at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex. Appalachian evens up
ts overall record to 7-7-3 on the year and 2-3-2 in Southern Conference play. The Wildcats fell to 6-10-1 on the year and 2-5 in league play.
“I’m happy with the way everyone played,” head coach Matt Nelson said. “This was probably our best performance of the season. Knowing that we have a couple of freshmen on the field and stepping into their roles and once we get some of our players healthy next week, I think we’ll be on the verge of something special.”
The first half got off to an aggressive start, as nine fouls were called within the opening 20 minutes of play. The ninth foul proved to be the most costly for Davidson when sophomore forward Kristian Lee-Him was fouled inside the opposing box and was awarded a penalty kick in the 20th minute. Lee-Him’s penalty got Appalachian on the scoreboard when his shot hit the bottom, left corner as Davidson goalkeeper Matt Pacifici went right.
For Lee-Him, the goal now ties him with the team-lead with senior David Dodge, tallying three on the year. The Mountaineer defense continued their dominance against opponents, allowing Davidson to record just one shot on goal. Junior defender Harrison Delbridge got on the attacking end when freshman Alex Herbst sent in a corner kick to head of the junior. The header was barely touched over the bar by Pacifici, disallowing the second goal of the match.
App State got its insurance goal in the 82nd minute when sophomore forward Stanley Broaden used his speed to get past DC’s backline, down the sideline. Broaden fed a pass back to the feet of sophomore midfielder Luke Adams who fired a shot past Pacifici for his first goal in an Appalachian uniform.
On a night that the program honored its eight seniors, Kojo Thompson and Lee Williams led a backline that recorded their eighth shutout of the season. In goal,
sophomore Paul West matched junior Danny Free’s total of four clean sheets on the year. West made just one save on the night, and the Mountaineers held DC scoreless for the second straight time, tallying a 2-0 shutout over the Wildcats in last season’s SoCon quarterfinals.
“We focus more on performance, not results,” Nelson said. “The first couple games, even though the results weren’t there, the performance was. We didn’t get wins in some close games this year, but in the last two games, things have bounced in our favor.”
Appalachian learns in tournament fate after the conference’s final match on Tuesday, Oct. 30 between College of Charleston and Wofford. The Mountaineers currently sit in the sixth position, but could fall to the No. 7 seed with a Wofford victory.
Photo Courtesy: Luke Adams, ASU Athletics