Coming off a 4-2 win over George Mason University, the ETSU men’s soccer team were ready to take on Appalachian State on Saturday night.
Going into the game, Head Coach Bo Oshoniyi had one primary goal: to get a shutout. And that’s exactly what they got.
The Bucs defeated App State 1-0, with an early second half goal and a solid defensive line. Jonny Sutherland (Chester, United Kingdom) was dominant in goal, making crucial saves in both halves to keep the score in favor of ETSU.
Warren Austin (Kingsport, Tenn.), a red-shirt junior, was involved with the defense and praised the rhythm that the team was able to develop in the second half, which allowed the Bucs to keep the shutout.
“It builds confidence, and it’s something we can build on moving forward,” Austin said.
There was a total of seven fouls for the Bucs in the first half of the game, most of which could have put ETSU in trouble had App State been able to capitalize on direct and indirect kicks.
Having played a water-logged game against George Mason just a few days before App State, the team was tired, but they needed to carry the same energy in order to get a win.
Cameron Woodfin (Old Hickory, Tenn.) was subbed into the game and made the biggest impact with the only goal of the night, assisted by Fletcher Ekern (Knoxville, Tenn.).
Ekern was exerted a significant degree of pressure on the opposing team in the push to set up the goal, and once he gained possession, it was all simple skill from there.
“I just knew that I had to get forward to support him and he just slid me through,” Woodfin said. “It was easy from there, I just had to pick a corner.”
Aside from the only goal of the game, there were other highlights as well, including the return of Jeffrey George (Safety Harbor, Fla.) and Serge Gomis (Sakar, Senegal), who were previously recovering from injuries.
The return of these players had a positive impact on the players on all fronts, according to Oshoniyi.
In regard to Gomis, there were hints of his ability in the game that will likely be showcased in full force once he is completely ready to be back on the field.
On Friday, the Bucs will travel to Virginia Tech for an even bigger challenge on the field, but nothing that their early season games, and the game against App State, haven’t prepared them for.
“We’re nowhere near where we will be at the end of the year,” Oshoniyi said.