BRIDGEWATER, Va. – If you wanted excitement, the Bridgewater College Soccer Field was the place to be on Saturday evening. Freshman Lindsay Suyes stuck a shot past the keeper to hand the Bridgewater Eagles women's soccer team a thrilling 4-2 victory on penalty kicks over the visiting Roanoke Maroons in the quarterfinal round of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament.
The contest ended at a 2-2 tie after two overtime sessions to send the contest to penalty kicks.
In the opening minutes of the contest, the Maroons took the first look at the net, but a shot sailed high and sophomore netminder Krista Kelly made a save on a Carmen Graves shot to keep the game scoreless.
Senior Brittney Harris rattled off two shots over the next 12 minutes, with her second shot getting turned away by the Roanoke goalkeeper as the game stayed tied at the 18:54 mark.
Both teams had chances to net the game's first goal over the final 26 and change of the first half, but neither team found the back of the cage as the game remained scoreless after the opening half of play.
Roanoke held a slim 7-to-5 advantage in first-half shots.
Harris wasted little time in putting Bridgewater on the board out of the halftime break. The senior took the half-opening kick and worked into the offensive third before she rocked a shot past the keeper to put the Eagles ahead by a 1-0 score just 18 ticks into the second stanza.
Roanoke responded less than 10 minutes later to knot the game up. Cindy Suttora took a pass from Graves and beat Kelly to the far post to tie the score at a goal each early in the 55th minute.
The two teams traded shots over the next six and change before the Eagles took their second lead of the afternoon. Freshman Michelle Viegas dribbled into the offensive end and fired a shot from 25 yards out and beat the Maroons keeper to put Bridgewater back in front by a 2-1 tally.
Following the Bridgewater score, the Maroons again netted the equalizer a short time later. Again it was Graves with the assist, but this time the pass went to Stephanie Parenteau and the senior found the back of the net to even the score up at a 2-2 tally at the 74:26 mark.
Bridgewater had its chance to end the game in regulation, but Roanoke replacement goalkeeper Sarah Dvorak thwarted Melanie Waters' scoring attempt to keep the game at a 2-2 standstill, which is how the contest would remain at the end of the second half.
Less than two minutes into the overtime session, Viegas cranked a shot at the Roanoke goal and had a wide-open look at the back of the cage, but her shot sailed high to keep the game even, 2-2. Roanoke had an opportunity as well in the first overtime set, but Kelly made an easy save to push the game into a second overtime.
Neither team got into an offensive rhythm in the second extra session as the game ended at a 2-2 tie, sending the contest into a shootout to determine who would advance to the semifinal round of the ODAC tournament.
Bridgewater replaced Kelly with junior Lindsey McDole to start the overtime session and McDole would come up big from the get-go. Graves had the first crack at giving the Maroons the lead but a diving McDole stoned Graves' shot on the first penalty kick.
Waters made the Maroons pay for their mistake when she beat Dvorak on Bridgewater's first chance to put the Eagles up, 1-0.
In the next series of kicks, Roanoke's Rebekah Adams and Bridgewater senior Abby Dehoff each made their shots to keep the Eagles ahead by one.
Parenteau opened the next set of kicks and her shot sailed well high of the crossbar before Nikole Blackwell effectively put the contest away by making her kick to build the Bridgewater advantage to two at a 3-1 tally.
Roanoke forced the game-deciding kick when Maya Kantor beat McDole to put the pressure on Suyes. Suyes beat the Roanoke keeper to the near post and finalized the scoring to propel the Eagles to the ODAC semifinals for the first time in program history with a 4-2 win in the shootout session.
The Maroons owned a slim 17-to-13 advantage in shots on the evening, paced by a five-shot effort from Parenteau.
Bridgewater was led on the offensive end by Waters and Viegas, who each tallied four shots in the win.
Kelly made four saves on the afternoon to lead the Eagles in the cage, before McDole finished the contest off with a big save in the shootout session.
Dvorak recorded two saves along the way for Roanoke.
Bridgewater travels to unbeaten Virginia Wesleyan on Wednesday for the semifinal round of the ODAC Tournament. Start time against the Marlins has yet to be determined.