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Florine Koopman
Florine Koopman scored the game winning goal in the shootout.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Field Hockey Defeats Lindenwood

Off a broken penalty corner in the 11th minute of play on Saturday, Sophia Baxter found fellow freshman Florine Koopman near the post and delivered a great pass that was then swatted into the back of the cage to give the Black & Gold a lead that would stand up in the Mountaineer win on Saturday.

The App State Mountaineers (7-4, 2-1 MAC) never trailed after Koopman’s goal and went on to beat the Lindenwood Lions (1-6) 3-1 in a neutral site bout on Saturday. Great defense and efficient offense were the keys to victory on Saturday as App State turned defense into offense multiple times, capitalizing on several attacking chances from their defense.

“I’m proud of the way we played this weekend,” Koopman said. “The defense was great, and we were able to turn our defense into offense all game. It was a great team effort both yesterday and today.”

Lise Boekaar and Noa Ginjaume Matas each netted their second goal in as many days on Saturday, with Boekaar’s coming in the second period and Ginjaume Matas’ coming in the fourth. Ginjaume Matas, who started both games this weekend, took advantage of a good Mountaineer stand on a penalty corner and turned it into a score for the Black & Gold’s third goal of the day.

“It was important for us to have play good this weekend after losing two last week, and we did that with the two wins,” Ginjaume Matas said. “I hope to continue putting more goals on cage and helping my team win any way I can.”

The Mountaineers went on the attack early in Saturday’s contest and fired the first shot of the game in the fifth minute of play. This shot came from Sophia Baxter, but Lindenwood goalie Leah Brozovich would make her first of 11 saves today to keep App State off the scoreboard.

Fifth-year goalkeeper Addie Clark would notch her first of four saves on the day, saving Alice Van Helemen’s shot attempt in the seventh minute. Both goalkeepers picked up two first-quarter saves.

However, App State would not be shut down for long as the Mountaineers would strike first with a goal in the 11th minute. The goal came off the stick of Florine Koopman, who slapped the ball in after App State failed to convert on a corner. The goal was Koopman’s third goal of the season and first since she scored two goals against Georgetown on Aug. 27.

The Mountaineers would cap off the opening period by stopping a Lion penalty corner with 10 seconds to play and take a 1-0 lead into the first intermission. App State outshot Lindenwood 4-2 in the first period, with three being on goal.

After Brozovich saved two previous App State shot attempts to begin the second period, Lise Boekaar would break through and slap one past the Lion goalkeeper to extend App State’s lead to 2-0 in the 19th minute. The goal was Boekaar’s second of the season and second goal in as many days.

App State dominated possession in the second period, outshooting the Lions 5-2. The Lions were unable to muster up much offensive pressure against the stout Mountaineer defense, leading to the second consecutive shutout half posted by the Mountaineer defense.

After two periods of play, the Mountaineers led 2-0, and fired 7-9 shots on the cage.

The third period saw more of the same aggressiveness from the Mountaineers as App State smacked eight shots in the direction of Lindenwood goalkeeper Leah Brozovich.

Hadley Kuzmicky, Samantha Connors, Rachel Fleig and Bridget Donovan each tallied shots on goal in the period, but Brozovich saved all four of them and kept the Mountaineers off the board in the third.

Addie Clark picked up her third save of Saturday’s contest, saving Mia Simpson’s shot attempt late in the period. Once the third quarter horn sounded, the App State defense had held Lindenwood scoreless again, marking six straight scoreless quarters for the App State defense.

The Lions came out hot to start the fourth period, but Addie Clark and the defense quelled their flame, with Clark picking up her fourth save of the game. Clark would finish the day with four saves.

Two minutes after the Lindenwood scoring chances, App State would capitalize off the momentum built by the defense and score their third goal of the game to extend their lead to three. This time, it was Noa Ginjaume Matas who netted the goal, marking the second consecutive day that the freshman has scored.

Lindenwood would answer Ginjaume Matas’ goal with their first score of the contest in the 50th minute. Alice Van Helemen would find the cage for her second goal of the season to put the Lions on the board.

But it was too little, too late as App State would lead from the 11th minute on and secure their sixth win away from Brandon & Erica M. Adcock Field this season and fifth non-conference win on Saturday.

“Being disciplined on defense as a team is what leads to our transition offense,” head coach Emily Dinsmore said. “We want to defend with the mentality to get the ball back at all costs, and today we did that well. We always want to attack off our defense and that was the key to our victory today.

The Mountaineers will return home to Brandon & Erica M. Adcock Field next Friday when they will tangle with the Kent State Golden Flashes in a MAC Semifinal rematch from 2022. First touch is slated for 3 p.m. and can be streamed on Twitch, YouTube and our Facebook page.