VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. – For the second year in a row the Bridgewater College women's soccer team made the long trip to Virginia Wesleyan for an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament game and for the second year in a row the Eagles pulled off the upset.
Bridgewater College, seeded No. 6, outlasted the third-seeded Marlins in a defensive struggle Saturday afternoon when Anna Theisen netted the game's only goal in the closing minutes for a 1-0 victory in the conference tournament quarterfinals.
A year ago the Eagles defeated Virginia Wesleyan 2-1 in the semifinals on a goal in the final minute of play. Saturday's game, once again, went down to the wire.
Bridgewater scored at the 86:14 mark off a corner kick by Nikole Blackwell. The Marlins headed Blackwell's kick out, but Theisen then headed the ball back into the net for the winning goal.
"That's the best we have played all year," Bridgewater head coach Mike Van Horn said. "In every close soccer game the keeper has to come up with that one big save and Taylor Riley made that save for us today on a shot with about 10 minutes left in the game."
Van Horn also had plenty of praise for the back line of Elizabeth Stump, Erin Holden, Ashley Crossman and Alycia Giauque playing in front of Riley. "Our defenders were solid the entire game," Van Horn added. "I couldn't be prouder of the way Erin played today. We had an injury and Erin stepped into the starting lineup and she was unbelievable."
The Eagles held a slim 10-7 edge in shots, including a 4-2 margin in shots on goal. Both teams had five corner kicks. Riley registered the shutout, finishing the contest with two saves.
The victory sends the Eagles to the semifinal round where they will play Washington and Lee, the tournament's No. 2 seed. The Generals defeated Randolph-Macon, 1-0, Saturday in quarterfinal action. The Eagles vs. W&L semifinal contest will be played Wednesday in Lexington, Va. The start time will be announced later by the conference office.
The two teams played in the regular season finale with W&L holding off the Eagles 2-1 on the Bridgewater soccer field.