Old rival to challenge Eagles

Senior midfielder Lindsay Hammer (16) is in a full sprint after the ball as junior forward Sydnie Van Curen (29) watches from afar.Photo by: Ryan Woodham

Hayden Boudreaux

Emotions will be high for the Georgia Southern University women’s soccer team

(2-5-2) on Friday as it returns to Eagle Field for a battle against Southern Conference rival Appalachian State University (3-4-2).

The Eagles are riding high after a successful conference weekend, tying Samford University and defeating the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. GSU looks to build on the tempo junior goalkeeper Molly Williams set over the weekend, compiling 17 saves and winning the SoCon Player of the Week Award.

App. State will use its dominant forwards, sophomore Samantha Childress and freshman Jane Cline. The two Mountaineers have started every game this season and have combined for seven goals. They will test the outside lanes of GSU and attempt to get into one-on-one match ups and use their speed to get breaks on the goal.

Currently, the Eagle defense, led by sophomore Katey Lippitt, has allowed an average of 15 shots per game. This could become a problem for the home team as App. State scores on 18 percent of its shots. However, with Williams in goal GSU plans to keep the opposing offense under that percentage.

The offense for the Eagles has been sputtering to this point in the season, scoring only eight goals in their nine games. Against Samford, only one shot on goal was recorded in the entire 110 minute contest. The offense saw improvement on Sunday where senior forward Alex Murphy and sophomore forward Nora El-Shami both scored over the weekend against Chattanooga.

The Mountaineer defense has been consistent on the season, allowing an average of 1.7 goals per game. App. State Sophomore defender Merlin Beckwith is the leader of the defense, starting in all nine games and even registering one goal.

The Eagles find themselves at yet another statistical disadvantage, but due to their recent success they stand to put up quite the fight. On the other hand, App. State has lost both of its conference games this season and will be playing with its conference playoff chances on the line.

Coach Dunleavy is excited for his team and the Georgia Southern fans.

“This is a historic rivalry; it will be fun to play App. State both of our last SoCon games at home. It is a huge rivalry and the team is looking forward to it,” Dunleavy said.

The Mountaineers will be the Eagles third conference match of the season. The game will be Friday at 7 p.m. on Eagle Field.