Lynchburg College rallied in the second half to defeat Roanoke College, 3-1, in the ODAC Men’s Soccer Championship last Saturday evening in Lynchburg. The win gives the Hornets a 16-2-2 mark and an automatic bid in the NCAA Tournament. The loss dropped the Maroons to 12-6-4 on the season.
This is the 12th ODAC Championship in Lynchburg College history and the second under head coach Chris Yeager. It is the fifth time that the Hornets have had to come-from-behind in the second half to earn a win this season.
The game was a tightly contested match, pitting two teams with a combined 19 ODAC championships. Lynchburg opened strong and had several scoring opportunities, but Roanoke keeper Ryan Russell made several nice saves to keep the Hornets at bay.
Roanoke would eventually draw the opening goal in the 24th minute as Chris Collins made a run off a long pass down the middle and lofted the ball over the keeper into the left post. The game would change in the backfield for the Maroons as team captain and All-American defender Michael Stark was injured midway through the first half and would not return. Each team played exceptional defense to thwart a few good scoring opportunities to send the game into the half with the Maroons up 1-0.
The Hornets came out strong yet again to open the second half, and it paid off for Lynchburg just 1:27 into the second stanza. A Roanoke foul allowed Josh Reed to take a free kick from about 20 yards out. Pat Brown redirected it to defender Zach Ward, who tallied his first career goal as he put the ball into the left side of the net to tie the contest at 1-1.
A Cam Smith free kick led to a Ward header that was inches away from crossing the goal line, but Roanoke’s Matt Standley made a team save and kept it a 1-1 contest at the 73:59 mark. Lynchburg scored its second goal just 29 seconds later as Ryan Renfro notched a header goal on a Reed corner kick to put the Hornets up 2-1
Scott Colman’s insurance goal late in the contest was the second of his career, as he converted on a Tony Dulak free kick to give the Hornets a 3-1 advantage.
Lynchburg outshot Roanoke 19-8, including 10-4 in the decisive second-half, and also notched five corners to just two for the Maroons. Russell has a solid game in net, recording six saves, while Matt Sturdivant posted three saves for the Hornets.
At press time the Maroons were waiting to see if they would be invited to the NCAA tournament with an at-large bid.