BRIDGEWATER, Va. – The Bridgewater College women's soccer team will host an ODAC tournament first-round game for the third consecutive year when the Eagles meet Roanoke College on Saturday afternoon. Game time is set for 3:30 p.m.
The fourth-seeded Eagles won the regular season meeting, blanking the fifth-seeded Maroons 2-0 in Salem.
To beat Roanoke for a second time, the Eagles will need to follow the same formula they used during the regular season.
"It sounds simple, but it's not that easy to do," Bridgewater head coach Mike Van Horn said. "We need to play sound defense and make no mistakes in the defensive third. And, we need to finish our opportunities in the offensive third. That's what we were able to do in the first meeting."
Both teams have played 18 games this season with 12 common opponents. When analyzing the statistics, the teams are very even.
Against ODAC opponents both teams have an 8-3-1 record. Both teams have scored 42 goals and both teams have 72 corner kicks. Bridgewater has allowed just eight goals, compared to 14 allowed by the Maroons.
Roanoke enters the contest with a 10-6-2 overall record. Five of Roanoke's losses are to regionally-ranked teams – Virginia Wesleyan, Washington and Lee, Fredonia State, Averett and Rowan. Roanoke's two ties came against the top-ranked team in the nation, Emory University, and Lynchburg, the nation's 10th-ranked team.
Roanoke is led by the high-scoring trio of Rebekah Adams, Carmen Graves and Stephanie Parenteau. The three have combined to score 34 of the Maroons' 48 goals this season. Adams and Graves have each scored 13 goals. Adams has added nine assists while Graves has dished out five assists. Parenteau has eight goals and nine assists this season.
"Graves is very fast," Bridgewater senior defender Jessica Sites said. "Their center forward (Adams) has a great left foot. If you let her turn left she's going to put the shot on frame and she has a good chance of making it. Their forwards are really good."
Carolyn Sarbacher has spent the majority of time in goal for the Maroons and boasts a goals against average of 0.86.
The Eagles enter the contest with an 11-6-1 overall record. Three of Bridgewater's losses came against regionally-ranked teams Washington and Lee, Lynchburg and Virginia Wesleyan. The Eagles also hold a 5-0 victory over Averett, ranked No. 9 in the South Atlantic region.
Bridgewater's scoring attack is a bit more balanced with five players scoring at least 15 points this season. Melanie Waters leads the way with 25 points on a team-high 10 goals and five assists. Krissy Snyder has 19 points on eight goals and three assists while Abby Dehoff has 17 points on seven goals and three assists. Paxton Sauerwald and Jacey Kelley have each scored 15 points.
Defensively the Eagles have allowed 20 goals in 18 games. Krista Kelly grabbed the starting spot as goalie late in the season and has a goals against average of 0.99 in eight starts.
Van Horn expects a tough contest between two good teams this Saturday.
"Roanoke played in the NCAA tournament a year ago. They've played in big games and they have won ODAC tournament games. They have that edge on us," Van Horn said. "We have experienced hosting games the past three years and we know what it feels like to not win those games. Hopefully, we can use that experience to help us come out on the winning side Saturday.
"I'm sure both teams have grown as a team since the last time we played," Van Horn continued. "There will be some new wrinkles from each team."
Saturday's game is scheduled to begin at 3:30 p.m.