Eagles Soccer Team Wins Thriller Against Hornets

Late Game Dramatics Take The Men’s Team Back to Winning Ways

Mans soccor

Bridgewater Eagles Athletics

Junior Matthew Shelor dribbling through the midfield. Shelor scored BC’s lone goal in a shutout victory against Shenandoah University on Sept. 29.

Erin Dietz, Staff Writer

Bridgewater, Va. – The Bridgewater College men’s soccer team defeated the Shenandoah University Hornets 1-0 on Sept. 29. 

The Eagles, who suffered their first defeat in four games over the weekend, entered the game looking to add another victory to their season resume. 

“As a team, we can all motivate each other to play the way we want to. Our coaches tell us to work as a team, not as individuals, so we have to play the way we do in practice, because everything starts with practice,” said first-year David Franco. 

Early first half play saw the Eagles take on a majority of the possession, creating a number of scoring opportunities early on. 

An active front line gave BC the first true chance of the game, as wing play down the right side of the field put junior Alex Martinez in good position inside the penalty box. Martinez took a shot that was parried away by Shenandoah’s netminder, junior Travis Jett. 

Shenandoah grew into the game, however, launching several promising attacks and challenging junior goalkeeper Tyler Deutsch. A free kick opportunity for the Hornet’s on the edge of the penalty box provided the best chance of the half for the visitors. 

Senior Jack Meixner sent a low, driven shot to Deutsch’s left side, forcing him into an acrobatic save. The ball was safely directed out of bounds and allowed the Eagles to organize defensively, but no further danger came from the play.

An opportunity for BC to go ahead in the game presented itself in minute 60. Eagles junior Trevon Phillips found the ball at his feet on the right hand wing — following a midfield turnover from Shenandoah. A fantastic individual effort took Phillips skipping past his defender and forced Hornet’s sophomore Ryan Rosensteel into a clumsy tackle just inside the penalty box. 

Franco stepped up to take the shot, but the effort was pushed away from the goal and out of play by a diving Jett.

BC’s goal arrived in minute 76, when a turnover by the Hornet’s midfield gave the Eagles possession of the ball. The counter attack was taken down the left side of the field and a pass was played to Franco outside of the penalty box. Franco spotted a streaking Phillips to his right and the pass was played. Phillips picked up his head and located junior Matthew Shelor, making a run to the far post and Shelor tapped in the driven cross for the decisive goal. 

Resolute defending in the last 15 minutes of the game by the BC backline ensured the victory, the team’s fourth of the season. Deutsch ended the match with three saves, earning him his first solo-shutout performance of the season.

“Moving into the second half of the season, now we’ve got to fight even harder than ever. We have such a great team and I believe we can make it far this year, but it all starts in practice and in ODAC play, so whatever we are right now we are ready for the upcoming challenge,” said Franco.

The Eagles (4-5, 0-2) return home to play cross-town rivals Eastern Mennonite University on Oct. 6.