BRIDGEWATER, Va. – For the first time in program history, two nationally-ranked women's soccer teams will meet on the BC Soccer Field as No. 18 Bridgewater hosts No. 24 Lynchburg in a key ODAC showdown this afternoon at 4:00 p.m.
T-shirts will be tossed out prior to the start of today's contest and those Bridgewater students who catch a t-shirt will have the opportunity to take part in a penalty kick shootout at halftime with the chance to win Bridgewater soccer scarves on the line.
Today's matchup will have a huge impact on both the ODAC standings and the regional rankings. Bridgewater is ranked No. 3 in the latest United Soccer Coaches South Atlantic Region with Lynchburg next at No. 4.
The Eagles cracked the Top 25 for the first time in program history a week ago and this week the team jumped from No. 25 to No. 18. The Eagles are 11-1 overall and 4-0 in the ODAC with the lone loss coming against The College of New Jersey, the nation's sixth-ranked team.
Lynchburg is no stranger to the national spotlight. The Hornets have won seven of the past eight ODAC Championships and in 2014 the Hornets hoisted the Division III National Championship trophy.
This season the Hornets are 10-2 overall and 3-1 in the ODAC. Lynchburg lost early in the season to Carnegie Mellon, ranked No. 21 this week. Lynchburg was upset a week ago by Randolph-Macon, 2-0, for its lone conference setback.
Lynchburg features two of the most prolific offensive performers in the ODAC in seniors Caitlin Mertens and Kennedy Jakubec. Mertens leads the ODAC in goals with 15 and Jakubek tops the conference in assists with 10.
The Eagles will counter with a balanced attack featuring five of the Top 15 scorers in the ODAC. Catherine Haufe leads the Eagles in scoring with 17 points, followed by Hunter Collier with 16, Hanna Randolph with 15, Emily York with 13 and Bailey Kratz with 12.
Both defenses have also been stellar as the Eagles have allowed seven goals this season while the Hornets have given up six goals. Lynchburg keeper Delia LoSapio ranks No. 3 in the ODAC with a 0.48 goals against average. Bridgewater's Sydney Davis is fourth with a 0.58 GAA
A year ago, Bridgewater defeated Lynchburg for the first time in program history, winning the regular season matchup on the Hornets' home turf, 1-0, on a goal by Kratz. The two teams met again for the ODAC title and the Hornets prevailed 1-0 in overtime on a goal by Mertens.