HAMPDEN-SYDNEY, Va. -- Virginia Wesleyan College's men's soccer Marlins scored first on Wednesday and posted a 3-2 Old Dominion Athletic Conference victory after holding off two Hampden-Sydney College comeback attempts.
The victory improved VWC's overall record to 6-8-1, but more importantly gave the Marlins a 5-4 ODAC record in a battle between three teams to secure an tournament berth in the upcoming conference tournament. VWC, H-SC and Eastern Mennonite University all started Wednesday with 4-4 ODAC records.
All VWC's scores were provided the Texan duo of Isaac Arrington (DeSoto, Texas/Midlothian) andJosh Kemp (Frisco, Texas/Addison Trinity Christian). Arrington put the Marlins on the scoreboard, ripping the ball into the net in the 29th minute. Junior Brian Cornell (Front Royal/Warren County) assisted on the play.
Hampden-Sydney, which had a three-game winning streak snapped by the loss, came back eight minutes later to tie the score, however. Alex Strain (Roanoke/North Cross) scored from the left off an assist from Nick DeProspeo (Midlothian/Crosby).
But, 83 seconds after the Tigers' score, Virginia Wesleyan regained the lead when Kemp connected with the goal on a booming free kick just a few yards inside the midfield line.
The Marlins took the 2-1 lead to the halftime break and rode it through most of the second half before Arrington hit again. This time he scored unassisted in the 79th minute to give Virginia Wesleyan a 3-1 lead.
Time started to become an ally of the Marlins, but H-SC struck again in the waning minutes. Curran Blackell (Wilson, N.C./Greenfield) put a header into the net in the 86th minutes, with the assist coming from Leo Kowalksi (Glen Allen/Deep Run).
But, that's where the scoring stopped, as the Marlins claimed the 3-2 win.
Virginia Wesleyan finished with a 19-11 advantage in shots, including 11-5 in the first half. The Marlins also posted a 6-4 edge in corner kicks.
Rookie goalie Connor Kirkham (Centreville, Va./Chantilly Westfield) recorded four saves for the Marlins. Goalie Blake Carrey (North Chesterfield/Deep Run) had seven saves for the Tigers.
Virginia Wesleyan competes again on Saturday, Oct. 20, closing out the regular season home schedule hosting the Royals of Eastern Mennonite University at 4 p.m.