VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Bridgewater College will play for the ODAC women's soccer championship Sunday afternoon after defeating Virginia Wesleyan, 2-1, in Saturday's first semifinal contest.
The Eagles will play Lynchburg College for the title Sunday at 2:00 p.m. at Virginia Wesleyan University. Lynchburg defeated Roanoke College 2-0 in Saturday's second semifinal contest. Bridgewater stopped Lynchburg 1-0 during the regular season for the Eagles first victory over the Hornets in program history.
This will mark Bridgewater's second appearance in the championsip game in program history. The Eagles played Lynchburg in the 2012 ODAC Championship game, losing 2-0 on the Hornets' home turf.
The Eagles stunned the Marlins with a goal in the sixth minute to take an early lead Saturday afternoon.
Both teams had chances in the opening minutes. The Marlins fired off three shots in the first three minutes, forcing Bridgewater goalkeeper Hayley Talbott to make two early saves. After the initial Marlins flurry, Bridgewater put pressure on the Marlins' defense with back-to-back corner kick opportunities in the fourth minute.
The Eagles came away empty on the corners, but two minutes later another set piece led to a score. Virginia Wesleyan was whistled for a foul, giving the Eagles a free kick opportunity. Annie Sible took the kick for the Eagles and sent the ball into the box where Keri Rager volleyed her shot past the keeper for a 1-0 Eagles' lead.
Virginia Wesleyan held a 14-4 edge in shots in the first half, but Talbott recorded seven saves in the opening 45 minutes to help the Eagles keep the Marlins off the scoreboard.
The Marlins continued to apply the pressure in the second half, but the Eagles continued to pitch the shutout.
Bridgewater had just one shot attempt in the second half, but the Eagles made it count. Bailey Kratz made a long run at the Marlins' defense and fired a shot into the upper 90 to put the Eagles on top 2-0 with 22:21 left on the game clock.
The Marlins scored their lone goal with just six seconds left when Alex Davidson scored on a penalty kick for the final 2-1 margin.
Talbott finished the contest with 12 saves to help the Eagles secure the victory. The Marlins finished the contest with a 30-6 edge in shot attempts and a 12-4 advantage in corner kick opportunities.
With the victory, the Eagles improve to 16-4-1 on the season. The 16 wins ties the program record for most wins in a season. The record was set by the 2014 team that finished with a 16-4 mark.