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The Radford University field hockey team took another loss as they fell to rival Appalachian State, 2-3, on Sept. 23. Playing their home opener after eight consecutive away games, the Highlanders were looking to rebound after dropping two tough matches last weekend. The game against App State was the 44th meeting between the two squads and Radford’s longest series with any opponent.
The Highs struck first on a rebound shot by senior midfielder Courtney Poole shortly after the ninth minute of the game. The unassisted goal was Poole’s third of the year. But App State did not take long to mount a counter attack, RU held their lead for less than two minutes before App State’s Kelly Allaband tied up the score.
Both teams kept up their furious offensive play and had multiple opportunities to score, but the goalkeepers kept potential scorers at bay. RU sophomore goalkeeper Sydney Encarnacion saved nine shots in the first period while the App State goalkeeper, Bridgette Street, saved four. The score remained tied at 1-1 until Encarnacion let another goal slip by her, giving the Mountaineers a lead that they would hold onto throughout the rest of the contest.
Brooklyn Shearer connected for the goal just after the 30th minute for App State, giving the Mountaineers the advantage heading into halftime. Just ten minutes later, App State’s Kelly Allaband connected again for her second goal of the night. The Highs had to counter quickly if they wanted to get back in this contest.
RU struck gold when senior back Lynsey Daughtrey hit a penalty shot that put the Highs within striking distance of the Mountaineers. RU shot four more times but App State’s Street proved to be the winning factor, stopping all four shots, with the last one coming with no time left on the clock.
Daughtrey’s shot would prove to be too little too late, and with under ten minutes left to play, RU could not pull the game out. The loss dropped the Highs to 4-5 overall and 0-1 in conference play. With the Mountaineers’ win, App State improved to 1-6 overall and 1-0 in NorPac play. This was also the first win App State has ever had in school history on Radford turf.
The Highs’ led in most categories, including shots, in which Radford shot 25 times to App State’s 14. RU also led in penalty corners (9-8) but the Mountaineer goalkeepers had more saves in the game (11-10). The two teams were tied in the number of shots on goal that they had with 13 apiece making a tiring day for the goalkeepers of both teams.
Encarnacion played the entire game, totaling ten saves, a very respectable number. Senior midfielder Marlee Schramm led the offensive attack for the Highs with three shots on goal.
RU will try to rebound from their current four game losing streak when they head on the road for three more away games with the first one coming at Longwood on Sept. 27 with game time set for 7 p.m. in Farmville.