BOONE, N.C. – Appalachian State University women's soccer used a hat trick from Sam Childress, including her golden goal in the first overtime to down the Liberty Flames, 4-3 in overtime on Sunday.
"Liberty is a great program and they're well coached and disciplined," said head coach Sarah Strickland. "The win is huge for us and shows how far we have come in five years as a program. To be able to compete and show grit and come from two goals down and win is great."
The Mountaineers (2-1-0) found themselves down early after a goal from Alanna Dunkle in the 15th minute put the Flames in front, 1-0.
The game was tied going into halftime, but not for long once the second half began. Sami Santos scored in the 49th minute from just inside the 18-yard box. Four minutes later in the 53rd minute, Crystal Elmers netted a goal to give the Flames a 3-1 lead.
Then, it was the Sam Childress show. The junior cut the lead to 3-2 with a beautiful goal on a ball played in by Julia Holz. Just 56 seconds later, Childress would strike again on a great touch in front of the net on a cross from Jane Cline.
Childress spoke about the game tying goal. "Julia played me a great ball and we were on on the counter. The goalkeeper made a decision to retreat and I decided to chip the ball over her."
The game would head into overtime with both teams tied 3-3. With 1:52 seconds left in the first overtime period and in the 99th minute of the game, Childress completed her hat trick.
A set piece off of a Liberty foul set up Jackie Nieradka to send a ball into the box. The ball would then be touched on by Jenni Loveless right to Chidlress' feet who was able to tally the golden goal and game-winner for the Mountaineers.
"Sam Childress truly put the team on her shoulders and found a way to put things away," said Strickland. "I thought the forwards looked great. Sam's composure in front of the net was untouchable."
App State would outshoot Liberty, 16-13. Of those 16 shots, 11 were on goal. The Mountaineers also created six corner kick opportunities to the Flames' five.
Appalachian won't play again until Friday, Sept. 5. The Mountaineers will travel to Morehead State on Friday and Marshall on Sunday, Sept. 7. Kick off against Morehead State is set for 6 p.m., while the match against Marshall is set for noon.