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Kassie Paul
Kassie Paul scored the game winning goal for the Mountaineers in overtime.
photo courtesy of Appalachian State Athletics

Appalachian State Field Hockey Wins in Overtime

Deep into the overtime period, senior Leah Hurwitz inserted the ball into the circle for freshman Kassie Paul who turned and slapped a shot past the JMU goalkeeper to record her first career goal and give the App State Mountaineers (4-1) a 2-1 overtime victory over the James Madison Dukes (2-3) on Friday.

Freshmen and upperclassmen alike stepped up and played key roles in the Mountaineers’ sixth consecutive road win and first overtime win of the season. With the overtime win on Friday, App State has now won three consecutive overtime games.

“It feels amazing scoring my first career goal,” freshman Kassie Paul said. “I love all the support from my team and I’m so glad that we finished strong and played together until the final whistle.”

Both Mountaineer goals came in the second half of play. Junior Charlotte Bosma notched her second goal of the season on a breakaway, shooting the ball into the cage in the 42nd minute of play. Bosma’s goal came within minutes after JMU’s Tori Carawan netted the game’s first goal to give the Dukes an early second half lead.

Junior goalkeeper Claire Grenis started Friday’s game in the cage for the Mountaineers for the first time in her career. Grenis played all 67 minutes between the posts and led the team to another stellar outing on the defensive side, allowing just one goal while saving three shots.

“Obviously, I really look up to Addie,” Grenis said. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to play tonight and I really trust the team and the defense I have in front of me. We did this as a team and went out there and said it wasn’t an option to lose. I’m glad the team got the win.”

Offense was hard to come by in the contest. The first quarter was a perfect example of that as only one shot was attempted through the first 15 minutes of play. As a result, the game was scoreless after the first period.

App State took control of the second quarter early, achieving several opportunities in their attacking 25 and firing multiple shots on goal. Bridget Donovan and Sarah Perkins each fired shots at JMU’s goalkeeper off the game’s first corner opportunity, but both were off target.

Two minutes later, Charlotte Bosma recorded App State’s first shot on goal off another scoring chance. Bosma’s shot was saved by senior goalkeeper Brandelynn Heinbaugh, who had the eighth-most saves in the nation coming into play today.

Mountaineer goalkeeper Claire Grenis recorded her first career save by thwarting a James Madison scoring opportunity and blocking Alice Roeper’s shot attempt with 11 minutes to play in the second quarter. Grenis would record a second save just two minutes later, stopping Mia Julien’s shot.

App State would fire six shots in the period and outshoot the Dukes 6-3 in the second, but no one would crack the cage in the first half of play. Grenis tallied two saves in the first half on four JMU shot attempts.

Just 47 seconds into the third quarter, the Dukes would take a 1-0 lead on Tori Carawan’s third goal of the season. This would be the only blemish on Grenis’ card for the evening.

The Mountaineers would answer the JMU goal late in the third quarter, as Charlotte Bosma would break away from the Duke defense and slip one past Heinbaugh to knot things up at one apiece with three minutes to play in the period. The goal was Bosma’s second of the season and came at a pivotal time in the game.

Momentum seemed to be on App State’s side as play concluded in the third period. Bosma’s equalizer would send this game to the fourth quarter tied at 1 with App State leading the shot tally 7-6.

After a 30-minute weather delay to begin play in the fourth quarter, it was defense that reigned supreme in the final 15 minutes. The Mountaineers would hold the Dukes to another scoreless quarter after stopping two shots and stopping a corner opportunity with no time on the clock. The Mountaineers have now held their opponent scoreless in seven of their last eight quarters.

The game would head to overtime for App State’s first overtime game of the year and first overtime game since Oct. 21, 2022.

Each team trotted out seven players for the overtime period with Claire Grenis in the cage. The extra 10 minutes started much the same as the rest of the contest with neither team attempting a shot through the first five minutes of play.

Although Kassie Paul did not start the extra frame, she would be the difference in the win. In the 66th minute of play on Friday, Paul found an open space in front of the cage and took a beautiful insert by Leah Hurwitz and deposited the ball past Heinbaugh to give the Mountaineers their third consecutive overtime win and propel them to their best start since 2019.

This was just the fourth time the Mountaineers have beaten the Dukes in the all-time series, but it was a huge win for head coach Emily Dinsmore and the team with James Madison joining the MAC in 2024. App State now holds a two-game win streak in the series.

“From the moment the game started until the final whistle, the team was locked in,” coach Dinsmore said. “The lightning delays didn’t matter, them scoring first didn’t matter, nothing was stopping this team tonight. They left their hearts out on the field tonight and I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

App State will next head to Winston-Salem, N.C., to take on the No. 17 Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the team’s first ranked matchup of the season on Sunday. First touch from Kentner Stadium is set for noon and can be streamed on the ACC Network Extra.