Caitlin Dorsch, Copy Desk Chief~
On Sunday, November 4, 2018, the University of Lynchburg Women’s Soccer team won their second consecutive Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Championship by defeating Virginia Wesleyan University by a score of 3-0. The Hornets started off strong when Senior Forward, Caitlin Mertens scored off of a breakaway within the first five minutes of the first half. Then, Redshirt Senior Forward and Captain, Hannah Olds scored the next two goals, both assisted by Mertens.
“This team fully encompasses the meaning of family. We win as a team and lose as a team. Today, we came out and nothing was going to get in our way of bringing that conference trophy home,” said Junior Defender, Sarah Pavlovich.
The Hornets started their quest to the championship on Wednesday, October 31, when they defeated Washington and Lee University 1-0 in overtime in the ODAC Quarterfinals. Then, they headed to the semifinals on Saturday, November 3, 2018, when they defeated Randolph-Macon College by a score of 5-1.
This season, the team has been focused on using each player’s positive energy to secure “the bread,” or the win. Sophomore Forward Emma Hiett said in reaction to winning the conference, “We secured the bread […] ya yeast!” The little sayings and motivational quotes are what make this team such a close family.
Lynchburg Women’s Soccer is all about family, Ohana. Junior Outside Midfielder/Defender, Natalya Rodriguez said, “Our team dynamic really grew this season and you can feel that connection on the field. You can tell that we would go to any extent to, not just for each other but for the program.”
This conference championship is the sixteenth in the team’s history and with this win, they secure one of the coveted automatic bids in the NCAA Tournament, the nineteenth in the team’s history.
After losing in Sweet Sixteen last season to The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), the team is looking to go all the way to the National Championship. The team wholeheartedly believes that they can get very far in the tournament. Junior Midfielder/Defender, Sarah Barnes said, “When we step on the field, we are playing for each and every player on our team – in the past, present, and future. We are one big family and embody Ohana in every practice and game! That’s what wins championships! That’s why we are going to win the NCAA’s this year!”