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Eagles Set To Host Tournament Game For First Time In More Than A Decade

Leo Alcantara controls the ball for the Eagles.

BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Bridgewater College will host an ODAC men's soccer tournament game for the first time in more than a decade when the Eagles meet Ferrum College in a quarterfinal matchup Sunday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.

The 2005 ODAC tournament was the last time the program hosted a tournament game as the Eagles advanced past Hampden-Sydney on penalty kicks after being tied 2-2 at the conclusion of two overtime periods.

The Eagles enter this year's tournament as the No. 3 seed with a 6-3-1 conference record and a 9-6-1 overall record. The No. 3 tournament seed is the highest in program history.

Ferrum, in their first season in the conference, is the No. 6 seed. The Panthers finished the regular season with a 5-5 ODAC mark and a 10-6 overall record.

The two teams met during the regular season with the Eagles taking a 2-1 victory on the Panthers' home field.

The Eagles led 1-0 at the half on a goal by Thomas White and then extended the lead with an early, second-half goal by Marc Almeida. Leo Alcantara had the assist on both goals. Ferrum got on the board in the 78th minute when Graham Holley scored off an assist from Michael Lyons.

"Ferrum is a very good team and we certainly respect their ability," said Eagles' head coach Ryan Bennison. "They're physical and aggressive. They are a high energy team and they rely on that high energy and effort."

The game will feature two of the top players in the conference – Bridgewater's White and Ferrum's Lyons. White, an All-ODAC selection in each of his first two seasons with the Eagles, is one of the top offensive players in the conference. He ranks second in both goals, with 11, and points, with 27. He also ranks third in assists with five. Lyons ranks fifth in the conference in scoring with 21 points on nine goals and three assists.

"Ferrum is very good in the midfield and Lyons is a talented player - one of the top players in the conference," said Bennison.

Bennison believes getting off to a good start will be one of the keys to Sunday's contest. He also hopes playing at home will prove to be advantageous.

"Scoring that first goal could be a big part of how things go," said Bennison. "We expect Ferrum to come out with a lot of energy and we're going to have to match or exceed their energy level.

"I'm thankful to be in a position to host. Getting the third seed is a huge accomplishment for our program, but we don't want that to be the highlight of our season. We still have some bigger goals we want to accomplish."

Sunday's game is set to start at 2:00 p.m. at the BC Soccer Field.