Soccer Team on the Road to ODAC

Kyle Gallagher. https://www.lynchburgsports.com/sports/msoc/2019-20/bios/gallagher_kyle_pktq

William Masselli ~ Sports Columnist

     On Mar 4, 2021, the University of Lynchburg Men’s Soccer team played Roanoke College to a scoreless draw, but the Hornets are looking forward to using their experiences of the past year to win ODAC. 

    Senior Kyle Gallagher, a goalkeeper, is grateful for the opportunity to play his favorite sport, stating, “I love being able to play competitive games again. It feels good that we have something we are working towards that is within sight. The thing I enjoy the most is just being able to practice with our full team again every day and all the team bonding that comes along with it. I think most people can relate to this because it shows how we, and many other Lynchburg teams, faculty, and directors handled the COVID situation dating back to last spring. It was a tough road, but we followed all the guidelines to the best of our abilities. Currently, we have as close to normal as I could have expected.” 

     Griffin Phillips, a junior, said, “So far this season, the team has had a lot of positives and successes,” 

He continued,“We have gotten good results in the games we have competed in and are really coming into our style of play. Obviously, with the weird timing and COVID, bumps in the road were imminent. With that being said, we really have performed well so far. As a team, we definitely feel that there is even more to come, almost like a final level of sharpness. We had a few role changes from last year, and we are still ironing out the last bits of chemistry in our play style. Those last few pieces are within reach. We are extremely optimistic about the rest of the season.” 

     The team definitely wants to learn from playing Roanoke College so the team can avenge last year’s defeat to Washington and Lee. Phillips said, “We are definitely focused on beating Washington and Lee this year, as they beat us in the ODAC final last year. Ever since my freshman year, we have always played a good, physical, and fast paced game with them. Washington and Lee is a competitive team, so to beat that team would feel great not only from the standpoint of last year’s final, but also that we are beating a competitor for the ODAC championship.”

     Gallagher knows the importance of beating Washington and Lee and winning the ODAC this year. He said, “Every year, our goal is to win the ODAC tournament, and this relates to this year more than ever before. This year, winning the ODAC is the highest level of achievement we can reach since there is no NCAA tournament. We know that the road to that goal is always difficult, and there will not be any easy games once we get in that tournament. Personally, I want to beat Washington and Lee. They always have a strong team and losing to them last year in the ODAC finals is something that I always remember.”
  Head Coach Yeager stated, “This team is unique because they have suffered through a fall season that was canceled before we could even get started. Our players have had to be very resilient in this quest to win an ODAC title. Hopefully, we can continue together on this awesome journey to the ODAC playoffs. The first step for us is to stay healthy and abide by the Universities policies on all things Covid. For us to win another ODAC title we will need everyone on our current roster.” 

 Yeager also said, “The most important thing for our players and fans at the University of Lynchburg is to remember we all want to continue to be in class, on the fields/courts, and on campus together. To accomplish this, we need to work hard to keep COVID away from our campus community by diligently adhering to University policies.”  

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