Men’s Soccer Looks to Repeat as ODAC Champions

By William Masselli ~ Editor in Chief

Lynchburg men's soccer seniors pose with the ODAC championship trophy
Retrieved from https://www.lynchburgsports.com/general/2020-21/releases/20210630kesg15 on August 28, 2021. The University of Lynchburg Men’s Soccer Team celebrates their ODAC Conference Tournament Championship Victory. 

The University of Lynchburg Men’s Soccer Team is looking forward to repeating as ODAC (Old Dominion Athletic Conference) tournament champions in the fall season of 2021, with the hopes of earning a NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) tournament bid. 

Kyle Gallagher, graduate student and starting goalkeeper, decided to use his extra year of eligibility to increase the team’s chances of winning the ODAC and making the NCAA tournament.

Gallagher is grateful to  Athletic Director Jonathan Waters for permitting fans to attend home games last season, stating, “We noticed fans not being in the audience at away games, but not at home games. The athletic director did a great job of enabling fans to be at the majority of our home games.” 

A new team roster this semester has created an opportunity for some players to take on new leadership roles this season.

Griffin Phillips, a senior defender, stated, “The coaches and returning players have talked a lot about leadership and game productivity as we head into the new season. Everyone on the team, from top to bottom, is taking on leadership roles in their own way. We are just trying to do our best to keep and continue the standards from previous Lynchburg teams and have good team chemistry like last year. I will try extra hard to continue the standard of the work ethic previously set and do whatever I can to help the team.”

According to Phillips, for the men’s soccer team to win the ODAC and advance in the NCAA tournament, “It is more about not losing any of the momentum from last year.”

Phillips continued, “We will always try to continue to improve both technically and tactically in small ways, as any team should always be trying to do. As defenders, we are really focusing on trying to get more clean sheets this year. We continue to improve on the small things and be even better in these small areas.” 

University of Lynchburg Men’s Soccer Head Coach Chris Yeager believes there are no easy games this year. “All of the teams in the ODAC will be tough this year.  We expect every game to be a battle,” said Yeager. 

Phillips is looking forward to playing in the rivalry games between Hampden-Sydney College and University of Lynchburg. “This year, I’m really looking forward to playing Hampden-Sydney College again. The last few years we’ve had some really good games with them, with each game getting stronger and better. The games are also having a large impact in terms of ODAC regular season and postseason play, which has made it even bigger,” stated Phillips. 

Knowing that the first game of the season is near, Yeager stated, “We return a bunch of kids off of our team from last year, so our expectations are high for them.  We are hoping to get closer as a team over the next couple of weeks as we prepare for our first game on September 3, 2021.”  

The Hornets will play  Covenant College at 4 p.m. on September 3, 2021 at Shellenberger Field. Admissions is free. 

Key words: Sports, University of Lynchburg, DIII, Mens Soccer, Soccer, Hampden-Sydney, NCAA, September 

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