App State, Marshall Tangle for First Time as Sun Belt Foes

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BOONE, N.C. – App State plays their first conference road match of the season, Sunday, as they travel to Marshall for their first meeting with the Thundering Herd as members of the Sun Belt Conference. First touch is slated for 1 p.m. and the match will be broadcast on ESPN+.
ABOUT APP STATE: App State (3-3-4, 2-0-0) is coming off a thrilling 2-1 victory over Coastal Carolina on Thursday. After the Chanticleers tied the score with less than 10 minutes remaining in regulation, App State responded with a go-ahead goal from Shannon Studer less than a minute later, and hung on to win, 2-1, to open 2-0 in conference play. Studer has now scored a game-winning goal in back-to-back contests. Studer was able to put home a cross from Hayley Boyles. Emma McGibany scored the first goal of the match, in the 46th minute, on an assist from Breckyn Monteith, who tallied her first career assist, after leading App State with ten goals last season. Monteith paced the team with seven shots on Thursday. The Mountaineers are led on the season by Izzi Wood who has scored four goals and tallied eight points to go along with a team-best 27 shots and 10 shots on goal. Studer has tallied two assists to go along with her two goals, sitting second with six points. Kerry Eagleston has started every game in net for App State, posting a 1.20 goals against average and .800 save percentage to go along with four shutouts.
ABOUT MARSHALL: The Thundering Herd (1-6-2, 0-2-0) are in the midst of a six-match losing streak, following conference losses to Southern Miss and Arkansas State to open their competition as a Sun Belt member. The Herd’s lone win this season came against Morehead State on August 25. They also have earned draws against High Point and Akron. Marshall is led by senior Morgan White who has scored six goals and added an assist this season. Abi Hugh has also dished out a team-best four assists on the campaign. Despite scoring only one goal on the year, Kat Gonzalez has registered 36 shots and 15 shots on goal through nine games. Four different goalkeepers have earned a start for Marshall this season, led by Alexis Wolgelmuth who has started four matches, including their most recent contest against Arkansas State on Thursday.
SERIES HISTORY: The Mountaineers and Thundering Herd are meeting for the first time as conference foes, Sunday, but they have faced off four times prior. Marshall leads the all-time series, 3-0-1, including a 2-1 victory in the spring portion of the 2020-2021 season, in Boone. Abi Hugh scored both Marshall goals in that match, including a game-winner in the 88th minute, less than a minute after App State tied the score on a Lauren Murphy goal, with Hayley Boyles picking up the assist.
STRONG SUN BELT START: App State has opened conference play 2-0 this season following wins over ULM and Coastal Carolina. The start marks the Mountaineers best in conference play since 2018 when they opened the campaign with three straight wins, defeating Troy (2OT), Georgia Southern, and Coastal Carolina. The only other season in which App State has started with at least two wins in Sun Belt play was 2014, their first season in the conference, when they defeated Little Rock and Arkansas State to begin 2-0 as Sun Belt members.
SUPER STUDER: For the second consecutive match, freshman Shannon Studer netted the game-winning goal for the Mountaineers. Sunday against ULM she scored the lone goal of the match in the 64th minute with App State playing with just 10 players on the field. Then on Thursday against Coastal Carolina she answered a game-tying goal by the Chanticleers in the 81st minute with a tally less than a minute later. Studer has also recorded a team-best two assists this season, helping on goals against UT Martin and College of Charleston. As a true freshman, Studer has started nine of the first ten matches this season, playing 797 minutes on the campaign, the third most by an App State field player. Her six points rank second on the team.
RPI BOOST: In the first RPI rankings, which were released on Monday, App State came in at 138th among D1 women’s teams. App State finished last season ranked 238th in the nation, representing a 100-point jump since the conclusion of the 2021 campaign. The Mountaineers currently rank 5th among Sun Belt teams, trailing South Alabama (41), James Madison (58), Southern Miss (84), and Texas State (111). 
INCREDIBLE IZZI: Junior forward Izzi Wood recorded her first career two-goal match Sept. 15 against Radford, tallying her team-best third and fourth goals of the season, in a 2-2 draw. Wood scored on a free kick from about 30 yards out in the 8th minute of play to open the scoring, and then four minutes later, tapped in a rebound off a Gabby Tremonti free kick. Wood leads the team in goals (4), shots (22), and shots on goal (8). She is the first Mountaineer to record a two-goal game since Breckyn Monteith did so last year against Little Rock on October 24. Wood also scored twice in an exhibition match against UNC Asheville. She is playing for the first time since 2020 after missing last season due to injury.
BARBOSA FINDS TWINE: On Sept. 11 at the College of Charleston, sophomore Stephanie Barbosa read a one-hop cross, leapt in the air to meet it, and headed it into the back of the net. The goal was the first of her career. Barbosa has played at least 40 minutes off the bench in every match this season. She has taken nine shots over her last five matches, with six being on target.
BETWEEN THE PIPES: Senior goalkeeper Kerry Eagleston has been a mainstay between the pipes for the Mountaineers, playing and starting in 64 games across four seasons. Eagleston leads the Sun Belt in saves (48), while ranking tied for third in shutouts (4), and third in save percentage (.800). Last season, Eagleston led the Sun Belt with 113 saves, while also ranking tied for second in shutouts (3), fifth in save percentage (.813), and tenth in goals against average (1.37). She recorded double-digit saves three times, including a career-high 20 saves against Wake Forest, the second-most in a match in program history.
Career Shutouts:
1. 24, Breland Meany……………………………………………2001-2004
2. 21, Caroline Clarke…………………………………………. 2007-2010
3. 16, Kerry Eagleston ……………………………………….2019-present
4. 14, Megan Roebrson ………………………………………..2012-2015
Career Saves:
1. 375 Kelley Guinn …………………………………………….. 1994-1996
2. 369 Breland Meany……………………………………………2001-2004
3. 319 Caroline Clarke………………………………………….. 2007-2010
4. 307 Kerry Eagleston…………………………………………2019-present
HAYWOOD AT THE HELM: Aimee Haywood was announced as the fifth head coach in App State soccer history when she was hired in December. Haywood joins the Black and Gold following a two-year stint at Queens University where she helped the Royals to a 16-5-1 record last season on their way to the second round of the Division II NCAA tournament. Haywood went 23-7-2 in two seasons at Queens. Prior to that she spent four years leading her alma mater, Ohio Dominican, where she complied a 44-25-10 record. In 2017 she led the Panthers to a program-record 16-win season that culminated with their first Division II NCAA tournament win.
ROLLING IN THE DEEP: Team depth is an aspect that has been prominently on display for the Mountaineers early on this season. On a roster comprised of 33 players, 25 have seen playing time already this year. Of those, 18 different players have earned at least one start, including newcomers Shannon Studer (9 starts), Anna Kate Highsmith (7), Katie Schumacher (7), Gabby Tremonti (4), Felicia Erkenfeldt (2), Lela Stark (2), and Emilene Parham (1).
SCORELESS DRAWS: Following a 0-0 draw at George Mason, the Mountaineers have now posted three scoreless draws on the season, the most since 2010 when they recorded four on the year. They finished that season with five draws overall, the most in program history.
The Mountaineers opened the season with back-to-back scoreless draws, against Liberty and USC Upstate. Previously, the last scoreless draw involving App State came October 1, 2020 against The Citadel. The last time the Mountaineers posted scoreless draws in consecutive games was October 18 and 20 of 2013 when they did so against Wofford and Furman respectively. All scoreless draws prior to this season included overtime, which has since been eliminated from regular season contests.
UP NEXT: App State will be back on the road on Friday, as they travel to James Madison for their second all-time meeting with the Dukes, and first as members of the Sun Belt conference. Kickoff in Harrisonburg is slated for 6 p.m.

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