With back-to-back second half goals, No. 6-seeded Appalachian State University men's soccer advanced to the semifinals of the Southern Conference Championships with a 2-1 upset victory over No. 3 seeded College of Charleston on Saturday
afternoon at Patriots Point. After giving up an own goal in the 15th minute and not finding many chances in the first half, the Mountaineers responded in the 76th minute when senior Josiah Trower headed a shot past Cougar goalkeeper Kees Heemskerk. For Trower, it was his first goal in an Appalachian uniform and freshman Matthew Melton was credited with the assist.
Two minutes later, senior Boubacar Toure gave the Mountaineers a 2-1 lead when he got behind the defense after a Charleston turnover over deep in its territory and beat Heemskerk for the game-winning goal. Toure's goal was his long-awaited first of the season despite being second on the team in shots on the campaign.
"It was a great team effort," head coach Matt Nelson said. "The team showed a lot of heart to battle through and get a win against a very good College of Charleston team."
Appalachian's defense gave up three goals in 3-0 loss to Charleston earlier this season but CofC was unable to find a groove throughout Saturday's match against the Mountaineer backline. The Apps limited Charleston to eight shots on goal and did not surrender a goal by a Cougar player in the upset win while junior goalkeeper Danny Free made seven saves and kept the Mountaineers alive throughout the match.
With the victory, the Mountaineers advance to the SoCon semifinals for the third straight season, where they will face No. 7 Wofford who defeated No. 2 Furman 2-1 Saturday night in Greenville. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, N.C.
SOUTHERN CONFERENCE SOCCER TOURNAMENT
FIRST-ROUND GAMES AT HIGHER SEEDS
#6 APPALACHIAN STATE 2, #3 COLLEGE OF CHARLESTON 1
#1 ELON 2, #8 DAVIDSON 1
#7 WOFFORD COLLEGE 2, #2 FURMAN 1
#5 GEORGIA SOUTHERN @ #4 UNC-GREENSBORO
Thursday, November 08
#1 ELON vs. TBA, 5:00 PM
#6 APPALACHIAN STATE vs. #7 WOFFORD, 7:30 PM
Saturday, November 10
SOUTHERN CONFERENCE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME, 7:00 PM
Photo Courtesy: Boubacar Toure, ASU Athletics