By: Keely Burleson
RALEIGH, NC (Feb, 9th) – Appalachian State left the cold and snowy weather in Boone for Raleigh on Sunday afternoon to take on the 1-0-1 NC State Wolfpack for their first game of the season at Method Road field. After having lots of rain in the forecast leading up to the match, both teams were glad to be playing under sunny blue skies with a temperature hovering in the mid 50’s. NC State came into the game with some momentum as they tied with their rival, UNC last weekend and beat UNC Wilmington, 2-0, the weekend prior, earning their first win of the season.
Appalachian State seemed to stay back on their heels, as NC State played on their half for most of the game. NC State looked very confident coming in and were playing at their own pace. On the other hand, Appalachian State appeared to have some first game jitters, as they struggled to find answers on the offensive side of the field and had trouble stopping NC State’s quick forwards. The first goal of the game for NC State came at the 24-minute mark when #5, Alana Jefferson had a great fast break pass to #4, Anne Barnes. Jefferson was also there for the great pass over the middle by Barnes and was able to gain position and put it in the back of the net.
NC State scored two more times in the first half, another goal by Jefferson on a header off of a corner kick with eleven minutes on the clock and Kylie Quinn, #22 scored with four minutes remaining in the 1st half on a second attempt follow up. To wrap up the first half the Wolfpack had 10 shots on goal compared to the Mountaineer’s two attempts.
The start of the second half seemed to slow down for the Wolfpack offensively, while Mountaineer’s desperately tried to get something going for them. App State came in with a change in the goalie position, which ended up holding the Wolfpack to zero points. While the Mountaineer’s never got points on the board, it was obvious they were the better team that half. They managed to get six shots on goal, while NC State recorded only two attempts. Despite Appalachian’s strong performance in the second half, the Wolfpack was able to hold on and beat App State 3-0 at home.
The player of the game was the NC State goalie, Emily Hager. She had 4 saves and allowed zero points on the board for App State. In the post-game interview, she gave credit to her defenders for the strong defense they put up. She also thought the team as a whole “capitalized on a lot of opportunities” , which was ultimately what gave them the advantage and win over Appalachian State.
NC State will be on the road next weekend to play UNC-Charlotte in hopes of getting their third win of the season and to remain undefeated. It will be interesting to see if the Wolfpack can uphold their solid defense against a powerful UNC-Charlotte attacking offense.