Men’s Soccer prepares for ODAC Tournament

By Samuel Graham ~ Guest Writer

Photo Credit: Kate Duncan/Lynchburgsports.com
Lynchburg players listen to the starting lineups being called. The Hornets will host Shenandoah in the ODAC Tournament quarterfinals this Saturday.

The Lynchburg Men’s Soccer team defeated the Eagles of Bridgewater College 6-1 on Tuesday night to secure the number two overall seed in the 2021 ODAC Men’s Soccer Tournament.

Tuesday’s win came on senior night for the Hornets and marked the seventh straight victory for the team.

“The guys have been playing well at the end of the year,” said head coach Chris Yeager. “We hope to carry this steady play into the playoffs.”

Lynchburg enters the postseason as the second overall seed, giving them home field advantage through the first two rounds of the tournament.

The Hornets finished the regular season with a record of 12-4-1, 8-1 in conference play, and will look to defend last year’s conference tournament championship.

Sophomore forward Brennan Lagana put up his best performance of the season in last year’s ODAC Championship game, scoring two goals in a 5-1 victory over the Guilford Quakers.

“Last season playing behind some incredible seniors allowed me to show out in the ODAC Championship more than any of our other regular season games,” Lagana said. “I knew the stakes were as high as they could be and the stage I had to perform on was as big as they come.”

Lagana has taken on an even bigger role in the Hornets offense in 2021, starting in all 16 of Lynchburg’s regular season games, totalling six goals and five assists.

“The biggest part of my jump from last season to this season was having a point to prove to my team, my coaches, and most importantly myself,” Lagana said. “If our team is successful and doing well, in my mind, I am succeeding with them and that is what matters most to me going into this season’s ODAC tournament.”

Lynchburg’s second overall seed guarantees them home field advantage through the first two rounds, giving them a good chance to advance to the ODAC championship game, set to be played Saturday, November 6.

Yeager and the Hornets have their eyes set on continuing play past the ODAC Tournament and into the NCAA Tournament, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic last fall.

“We scheduled a very tough out of conference schedule so we could place ourselves in a good place for an at-large bid [to the NCAA Tournament],” Yeager said. “We think we did this but still have to advance in the [ODAC] tournament to secure a spot. We would prefer to get the automatic bid.”

Automatic bids to the NCAA Tournament are achieved by a team winning its respective conference tournament.

The Hornets will kick off the quest for a second straight ODAC Championship on Saturday at 2 p.m. as they play host to Shenandoah.

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