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Charlotte Bosma
Charlotte Bosma had a goal for the Mountaineers.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

App State Field Hockey Loses Heartbreaker in MAC Championship Semifinals

In a back-and-forth contest on Friday at the Miami Field Hockey Complex, the App State Mountaineers (14-5, 6-1 MAC) fell 3-2 on a sudden death goal by Emma Rolston in overtime against the Kent State Golden Flashes (8-10, 5-2 MAC). After fighting to tie the score in the 52nd minute, the Mountaineers’ historic season came to a heartbreaking end on Friday.

After trailing at the halftime break by two goals, the Mountaineers fought all the way back in the contest, scoring twice in the second half to tie things up and send the game to overtime for the second time this season against Kent State. Charlotte Bosma netted the equalizer with eight minutes to play in the fourth quarter, her seventh goal of the season.

The Mountaineers would see their nine-game winning streak come to an end on Friday, but it was a historic streak, nonetheless. The nine wins in a row is the third-longest streak in program history. The 14 wins on the season was tied for the most wins in program history with Emily Dinsmore breaking Dr. Jan Watson’s record for wins by an App State first-year head coach.

App State started strong in their second consecutive MAC Tournament appearance, controlling the ball for much of the first quarter and generating several attacking chances that were stopped by the Golden Flashes. In the fifth minute, the Mountaineers would draw the game’s first penalty corner, resulting in a shot by Charlotte Bosma that was saved by Kent State keeper Cecile Can Eijck.

The Mountaineers had a great chance to score later in the period as Lise Boekaar fired a pass to Florine Koopman in front of the cage. Koopman’s shot off the pass missed wide but gave the Mountaineers confidence going forward that they could break the defense.

With a little over a minute remaining in the first period, App State would draw two consecutive penalty corners, giving them a chance to draw first blood on Friday. The two corners resulted in three App State shot attempts in a scrum around the cage. Van Eijck, who saved seven shots today, picked up a save on Lise Boekaar’s shot attempt before Maia Sarrabayrouse tallied a defensive save to keep the game scoreless after one.

The Golden Flashes would turn things around as play started in the second period, maintaining control for much of the next 15 minutes. The Flashes would draw their first penalty corner of the match in the 19th minute, giving them their best chance to score of the day.

Off the insert by Bella Carpenter, Alex Sacker would take a deflected shot off Addie Clark’s pads and redirect the ball into the cage for the game’s first goal. Sacker’s goal broke a streak of eight consecutive games that the Mountaineers have scored first in.

Kent State would double their lead just 90 seconds later as Patricia Strunk found herself open in front of the net and inserted the ball past Clark. Strunk, who was named to the All-MAC first team yesterday, netted her seventh goal of the year to give the Flashes a 2-0 lead.

Off the shocking turn of events, App State would not be fazed as they turned around and drew a penalty corner of their own in the 23rd minute. Off the insert, Boekaar would take a shot that was blocked. The game wasn’t without chances for App State as they fired 21 shots on the day.

When the second period horn sounded, App State trailed 2-0 marking the first time in 37 quarters that the Mountaineers had trailed at the conclusion of a quarter.

The Mountaineers came out of the halftime break with a vengeance as they trailed for the first time since Sept. 29. App State would draw four corners within the first four minutes of the third, resulting in several shot attempts at Van Eijck. The Kent State defense would hold strong as Van Eijck would tally two saves on the shot attempts and Victoria Tinghitella recorded the Flashes’ second defensive save.

In the 34th minute after yet another penalty corner, App State would be granted a penalty stroke after video review. On the resulting stroke, Bridget Donovan would insert the ball past Van Eijck and cut the Kent State lead in half with her fifth goal of the year.

Momentum had shifted back in favor of the Mountaineers after Donovan’s goal as App State continued to push down the field and generate chances from their offense. The Black & Gold would draw three corners after Donovan’s goal, resulting in three more shot attempts. Despite some creative plays on the penalty corners, the Mountaineers were held scoreless the rest of the third period as Van Eijck racked up five of her nine saves in the third period and the game would enter the fourth with Kent State ahead 2-1.

Kent State would come out aggressive to start the fourth as they would draw three of their four fourth-quarter penalty corners within the first two minutes of the period. Clark and the defense would hold strong, however, as Clark would tally her second save of the contest and Sarah Perkins blocked a second attempt to end the chance.

In the 52nd minute, App State drew their 13th corner of the contest after dribbling into the circle with intent to score. On the resulting insert by Grace Ball, Charlotte Bosma slapped a hard shot at Van Eijck that deflected off her pads and into the net for a goal. Bosma’s late-game heroics would tie things at two on Friday and send the Mountaineer faithful into an uproar.

Coming off Bosma’s goal, the Flashes came right back with aggression and drew their fifth corner of the match. The corner resulted in a quick shot by Sarrabayrouse that was saved by Clark on a terrific diving effort to keep the game tied. Clark, who was named the MAC goalkeeper of the year yesterday, tallied four saves on the day.

Thanks to Bosma and Clark’s clutch plays, the game would enter overtime for the second straight matchup between the two teams. It was an incredible effort by Coach Dinsmore’s squad to tie things up.

Kent State started with the ball to begin the sudden death overtime period, but App State would continue applying pressure on Kent State and take the ball onto their side of the field.

The 64th minute saw two Mountaineer corners as App State looked to end the contest. Off the resulting insert by Hadley Kuzmicky, Sophia Baxter fired a shot that Van Eijck would save. Van Eijck, who racked up six second-half saves, racked up her seventh and final save on Baxter’s shot.

After forcing a turnover late in the first overtime period, Bella Carpenter and Emma Rolston found themselves open in their attacking 25 looking to end the game. Despite a good contest by Clark and the defense, Carpenter would dish to Rolston who swept the ball up and over the defense and into the cage to win the game. Despite the loss, the Mountaineers fought to the very end to force overtime.

It was an incredible season in the High Country in Coach Dinsmore’s first season at the helm. The team rattled off the third-longest winning streak in program history, tied the mark for most wins in a season with 14 and won the MAC regular season championship for the first time ever.