Eagles to battle Appalachian State and Western Carolina

Erin Denmark

Tomorrow, the Georgia Southern University women’s soccer team will journey to North Carolina to take on the Appalachian State University Mountaineers, and then they will challenge Western Carolina University Catamounts on Sunday, Sept. 30.

GSU, ASU and WCU all are very closely ranked this year. Out of the three, GSU has been defeated in the least amount of games this season overall. They are not in the lead with victories because of how many tied games they have earned. Currently, both GSU and WCU have produced five wins.

All three teams began their Southern Conference games at home, and none of them succeeded with a win. WCU was the only one to receive a tie, but GSU and ASU were both defeated. The Eagles successfully defended their home field for the second SoCon game. The Mountaineers and the Catamounts also won their second games, which were both away.

Sophomore forward Sydnie Van Curen made the final goal for the Eagles’ victory against the Mocs, leading the pack by achieving her fifth goal of the year.

The top scoring Catamount is freshman forward Markie-Lynn Studnicky with four goals and one assist. The Mountaineer’s best scorer, sophomore forward Jenna Caudle, has earned three goals and two assists this season. Mountaineer sophomore forward Julia Holz and freshman forward Samantha Childress also lead the team with three goals, and Holz received one assist.

Eagle goaltender junior Katie Merson has helped achieve six shut outs of the season, and has only allowed seven goals all games total. ASU goalies have only produced two shut outs and missed 15 saves so far. WCU keepers aided four shut out victories and missed 11 opportunities to prevent goals.

The Eagles hosted games against the Catamounts and the Mountaineers last year as well. On Oct. 7, 2011 GSU shut down WCU with 2-0 victory. Oct. 9, 2011 GSU defeated ASU 2-1 on the Eagles’ field.

GSU is ranked as 8th out of 12 teams with 53 votes in the 2012 women’s soccer preseason coaches’ poll. ASU is ranked much lower as 10th with 37 votes. WCU is not far behind GSU with 50 votes and predicted to be 9th in the Southern Conference. This shows that it is very possible for GSU to defeat the two opponents, but if they lose focus, victories could easily slip away from them.