Women’s Soccer falls on double-overtime penalty kick at Lynchburg

Danielle Spickard

LYNCHBURG, Va. – A penalty kick in the 107th minute gave No. 20 and third-seeded Lynchburg a 2-1 double-overtime win over the Washington and Lee women's soccer team in the quarterfinals of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship Tournament on Wednesday night.

The Hornets (15-2-2) were slowed by a tough W&L (9-5-2) defensive unit in the first overtime, but saw more chances in the second extra period, with shots going off target or into the arms of first-year goalkeeper Grace Coombs (Boca Raton, Fla./Saint Andrews School). With less than four minutes left in the second overtime, a foul inside the goal box gave Lynchburg a penalty kick opportunity. Senior forward Caitlin Mertens took the shot and scored inside the left post, just beyond Coombs' reach, to end the game.

The Generals put together a string of offensive chances late in the second half and finally broke through with a goal in the 78th minute. A cross into the box was played outwards, but corralled by sophomore midfielder Natalie Choo (Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Country Day) just inside the 18. Choo turned to her left and, while falling down, found senior midfielder Megan Engeland (Yardley, Pa./Pennsbury) on the right side of the box. Engeland stopped the ball, cut back to split a pair of defenders and looped a shot to the far post, just over the hand of the leaping Hornets' senior goalkeeper Delia LoSapio for the equalizer.

Engeland had another chance in the 84th minute when she took a free kick from about 25 yards and placed her shot to the low-left corner of the frame, but LoSapio was there to keep the game tied, 1-1.

With the game still scoreless in the 58th minute, Lynchburg senior midfielder Kennedy Jakubek took control of the ball and raced into the 18-yard box on the right side. Just after getting inside the box, Jakubek ripped a shot past the diving attempt from Coombs and inside the left post for the game's opening tally.

The Generals' best scoring chance in the first half came when junior forward Kelsey Anderson (Alexandria, Va./Episcopal) beat a couple of Lynchburg defenders, made a run up the left sideline and cut towards the middle of the field. From 15 yards out on the left side, Anderson fired a left-footed shot towards the frame, forcing LoSapio to make a diving save to her left.

W&L also had a chance on a corner kick taken by sophomore forward Sydney von Rosenberg (Boerne, Texas/Boerne-Samuel V. Champion) in the 35th minute. The sophomore's cross was batted into the air by LoSapio and a struggle for possession ensued, before the Lynchburg defense was able to clear the ball from further danger.

Engeland finished the game with three shots, all on goal, and scored her 37th career goal, tied with Fontaine Marcoux '03 for the sixth most goals in program history.

Choo's assist on Engeland's second-half goal was her third helper of the season, to go along with one shot. Sophomore midfielder Erin Hoeh (Chesterland, Ohio/West Geauga) was the only other W&L player to finish with multiple shots in the game, tallying two in the contest. Coombs (4-4-2) finished the game with six saves on eight shots on goal from Lynchburg, playing all 106:19 in net.

The Hornets' offense was paced by Mertens, who took five shots on the night and put three on goal, while graduate midfielder Rachel Cooke chipped in four shots. LoSapio (15-2-2) earned the win after making four saves in 106:19 of game time.

For the game, the Hornets held a 15-11 shot advantage, with both teams comiling nine shots after the first half. Lynchburg had an 8-5 edge in shots on goal, but the Generals won the corner kick battle, earning six and conceding three.

W&L concludes the 2018 season with a 9-5-2 overall record and went 6-4-1 against ODAC opponents on the season.

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