Field Hockey defeats Bridgewater, advances in ODAC Tournament

Lynchburg defeated the Eagles 3-0 to advance to the ODAC tournament semifinals, where they will face Shenandoah.

By Samuel Graham ~ Guest Writer

Graduate student Jackie Lerro carries the ball. Lerro ranks third in the ODAC in goals.
Photo credit: Erin Farina/Lynchburgsports.com

Lynchburg advanced to the second of three rounds in the ODAC Tournament Tuesday as they defeated Bridgewater on Shellenberger Field.

As the third-seed in the tournament, Lynchburg will travel to Winchester, Virginia to play second-seed Shenandoah in the semifinals.

The Hornets vs Hornets matchup has become commonplace in the ODAC Tournament, as the two schools have faced off in each of the last three tournaments, most recently resulting in a 5-4 victory for Lynchburg in the 2020 semifinals.

“Shenandoah has been a great contender for several years now,” said head coach Enza Steele. “This year they have a bit more scoring punch than in the past.”

Lynchburg faced Shenandoah in its regular season finale on October 30, losing 4-1. Lynchburg scored first before allowing four straight goals to the rival Hornets.

“We haven’t lost to Shenandoah since I have been at Lynchburg besides this year in the regular season,” said graduate student Jackie Lerro, who scored the lone goal for Lynchburg in the October 30 matchup. “It’s more of a revenge game rather than keeping the winning streak alive. Every game with them is a fight to the finish because they are a very aggressive team.”

The four points Lynchburg allowed to Shenandoah was tied for the most it had allowed in a game this season but the defense came ready in Tuesday’s first round victory over Bridgewater, allowing only three shots and no goals to the Eagles.

The team is hoping to continue Tuesday’s defensive dominance in Thursday’s semifinal matchup.

“We know what we need to fix and what we need to capitalize on,” Lerro said. “Having a play-in game for the quarterfinals gave us a little advantage in game play to work on things rather than just in practice.”

Lerro currently leads Lynchburg in points, goals, and assists, ranking second, third, and second in the ODAC in each category respectively.

There is more than just a trip to the ODAC championship on the line for Lynchburg when the two face off Thursday, as the team may need a win to secure a berth to the NCAA Tournament.

“Our team has played a really tough schedule which has contributed to a high strength of schedule percentage,” Steele said. “I feel we are one of the top 20 teams in the country and every game we win brings us closer to an NCAA bid.”

Lynchburg enters Thursday’s game with a 13-6 overall record and has been ranked in the National Field Hockey Coaches’ Association Top 20 up until week seven.

Shenandoah is currently ranked 19th in the country by the NFHCA and enters the matchup with a 14-2 record.

The two teams will face off at Shenandoah on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. with a trip to the ODAC Championship game on the line.

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