BRIDGEWATER, Va. – Lynchburg stunned Bridgewater with two goals in the first six minutes Wednesday afternoon, but the Eagles fought back to tie the score with two second-half goals and the ODAC showdown between the two Top 25 teams ended in a 2-2 draw.
"For the 11 years I've been in the ODAC, Lynchburg has been the standard," said Eagles head coach Mike Van Horn. "I told the team after the game that in years past, we go down 2-0 to Lynchburg we weren't good enough to come back. By fighting back today and tying that game and then having some chances to win it down the stretch, that shows that we belong among the best teams in the conference."
The Hornets struck early with the ODAC's leading scorer, Caitlin Mertens, doing the damage.
Lynchburg's first goal came in the third minute when Hannah Olds played a through ball from the left side and Mertens ran past her defender and on to the pass. Mertens put her shot over keeper Sydney Davis' head and just under the crossbar for a quick 1-0 Hornets lead.
Mertens struck again in the sixth minute when she slipped behind a defender and took a pass from Kennedy Jakubek, the ODAC assists leader, for a shot from in close, making the score 2-0.
The score was still 2-0 at the half, but the Eagles responded in the second half with solid pressure against the Hornets.
The Eagles got on the scoreboard in the 51st minute to get back into contention. Catherine Haufe possessed the ball deep on the right side and passed out to Hanna Randolph. Randolph passed across to Sydney Ryan who hit a shot from 30 yards out. Her shot floated high and came down just under the cross bar and out of the keeper's reach, trimming the margin to 2-1.
Bridgewater added the equalizer in the 62nd minute. Bailey Kratz passed the ball across the box and Randolph beat the defender to ball and touched the ball just inside the post to knot the score at 2-2.
The Eagles had several good looks down the stretch but were unable to find the back of the net. In the closing minutes of the second overtime, Kratz struck the ball solidly from 15 yards out, but Hornets' keeper Delia LoSapio made a leaping save to punch the ball over the crossbar. The Eagles had one last opportunity on the ensuing corner kick as Morgan Todd put a shot on frame from just outside the box, but LoSapio made a juggling save to preserve the tie.
The final shot tally was dead even with 15 shots for each team. Bridgewater held the edge in corner kicks by a 6-3 margin.
Lynchburg's LoSapio tallied six saves while Davis finished with two saves for the Eagles.
Bridgewater, now 11-1-1 and 4-0-1 in the ODAC, returns to action Saturday when the Eagles travel to Randolph College for a 1:00 p.m. contest.