BOONE, N.C. — Appalachian State University men’s soccer opens up the First Round of the 2016 Sun Belt Championship tournament this week with rival Hartwick on Thursday, Nov. 10 at 3 p.m. ET.
The fifth-seeded Mountaineers will be “hosted” by the No. 4 Hawks once more in the postseason after the two teams battled last year in the semifinal round. Last season, App State advanced to the semifinals by defeating NJIT in the First Round, 2-1, as Appalachian hosted the tournament.
Leading the Black and Gold in points and goals heading into the First Round is senior Stephen Chapman. He has 18 points from eight goals and two assists. Running the attack is sophomore Daniel Avila, Chapman and seniors Jordan Melia with two assists apiece.
In the net for the Mountaineers is freshman Jake Agnew. The goalkeeper has logged just over 1,100 minutes, making 35 saves and recording three saves.
Hurdling the Hawks
The Hartwick Hawks enter the postseason with an 8-5-4 overall record and 2-2-1 record in the Sun Belt. The fourth-seeded Hawks have slipped toward the home stretch of the year, going 1-4-2 in their last seven games – losing four straight at one point to Colgate, Georgia Southern, Albany and Georgia State.
Hartwick’s longest unbeaten streak of the season came at nine-straight, including wins against Robert Morris, Siena College, Fairfield University, then-No. 16 Vermont, Bryant and Coastal Carolina and draws against Appalachian State, St. Francis Brooklyn and Saint Peter’s.
As a team, the Hawks are second in the conference in assists per game (1.24), points per game (4.18), shots per game (13.65), goals against average (1.19) and total assists (21).
Individually, Mike Rood leads the team with 10 points and four goals while also chipping in two assists. Behind Rood are four players who have three goals this season – Johnny McBeth, Jamie O’Grady, Kyle Honor and Marc Berry. Berry is second in the league in shots per game (2.71) and shots on goal per game (1.29).
Running the offensive charge for the Hawks, Jack Donaldson and Hamish Ritchie lead the team in assists with four and three, respectively.
Between the frames for Hartwick is Lenny Wilson. Wilson has played 1281:33 minutes and made 42 saves this season. He’s allowed only 17 goals this season and recorded four shutouts.
The Mountaineers and the Hawks have faced off six times in program history with Hartwick owning a 3-1-2 advantage. The last meeting came on Oct. 15 when the two teams tied 0-0 in double overtime in New York.