BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Bridgewater College erased a 1-0 deficit Saturday afternoon with three unanswered goals to defeat Guilford College 3-1 in ODAC men's soccer action.
With the victory the Eagles improved to 4-0 in the ODAC, the first time since 2003 that an Eagles' team has started 4-0 in conference play. Bridgewater is now 7-3 overall.
Guilford struck first in Saturday's contest with a goal in the 38th minute. Louis Gozan sent a cross in from the left side and Victor Jimenez headed his shot inside the near post to give the Quakers a 1-0 lead.
The remainder of the scoring belonged to the Eagles with three different freshmen putting the ball into the back of the net.
Bridgewater answered the Guilford goal with a quick score. The Eagles had a throw-in from the right side and Jacob Heiston put his throw into the box. Ethan Fitzgerald got a touch on the ball and Sam Franklin cleaned up the loose ball with his shot inside the left post and into the back of the net, tying the score in the 40th minute.
The Eagles took the lead two minutes later when Stephen Bishop carried the ball toward the right end line and sent a low cross into the box in front of the goal. Freshman midfielder Patrick Peach made his run down the middle of the box and touched the ball into the goal to put the Eagles up 2-1 late in the first half.
The Quakers missed a huge opportunity to tie the score in the waning minutes of the half. A misplayed ball by the Eagles' back line allowed Guilford's Abdoulaye Camara to work free behind the Eagles' defense for a one-on-one chance with Eagles' keeper Quentin Boric. Boric made a diving stop to the near post to save Camara's shot from 15 yards out. The ball bounced right back to Camara for another attempt, but Boric scrambled on his knees to smother Camara's second shot as it came off his foot.
The Eagles maintained the 2-1 advantage until the 78th minute when the Quakers just missed on another opportunity to knot the score. Guilford midfielder Joenn Lanza gained possession in the offensive end and struck a shot from straight away, 20 yards out. The ball was heading toward the upper part of the goal when Boric made a leaping save to punch the shot over the crossbar, preserving Bridgewater's one goal lead. The Eagles defended the ensuing corner with Boric taking the ball out of the air.
Boric then punted the ball downfield where it was misplayed by the Quakers' back line with Eagles' freshman Caleb Needle running onto the loose ball along the right side. Needle carried the ball into the box on the right side and beat the keeper with a low shot to the far post, making the score 3-1 with 10 minutes left to play.
The Eagles held a slim 15-12 edge in total shots while the Quakers had a 5-2 advantage in corner kicks. Boric had another solid game in goal, allowing just the one goal while recording five saves.
Bridgewater returns to action Wednesday when the Eagles travel to Ferrum for an ODAC matchup with the Panthers. Game time is 6:00 p.m.