Marlins battle to scoreless tie with league-leading Roanoke

Josh Kemp
Josh Kemp

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Roanoke College's men's soccer team entered Saturday's game at Virginia Wesleyan College with the top-ranked offense in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC).

The Maroons attacked the goal in the early minutes, but once Virginia Wesleyan's defense settled it set the tone for the remainder of the game. 

The host Marlins combined quickness and alert play to keep Roanoke scoreless for the first time this season. 

An overflow Homecoming/Parents Weekend crowd in and around the Trinder Center saw the Marlins combine quickness and alert play to keep Roanoke scoreless through a tough double overtime battle.  It marked the first time this season that the Maroons were held without a goal.

Roanoke (7-2-2, 4-0-1), which entered the game ranked No. 1 in the league and  No. 6 in the South Atlantic region followed the lead of players like Tyle Carbaugh (Blacksburg/Blacksburg) and Marc Dinkle (Basel, Switzerland/Wirtschaftsmittelschule) in an attempt to spark the offense.  But, Virginia Wesleyan (5-3-2, 2-1-1) repeatedly stepped up to keep the Maroons frustrated.

Senior Stephen Sawicki(Bethesda, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase)emerged as the defensive catalyst for VWC, producing standout plays that prevented Roanoke from advancing toward the goal.  Senior Brandon St. Amour(Stafford/Mountain View), junior Brian Le (Springfield/West Springfield), and rookie Tyler Ostrovecky(Haymarket/Battlefield)were among numerous Marlins who helped to limit Roanoke to just six shots in regulation play.

Virginia Wesleyan finished with a 14-10 advantage in shots, but produced a 13-6 difference in regulation play.  The Marlins' closest shot to scoring took place in the 32nd minute when a solid kick by senior Isaac Arrington(DeSoto, Texas/Midlothian, Texas) from the left sailed toward the goal but was too high and glanced off the top of the crossbar.

Junior goal Connor Kirkham(Centreville/Chantilly Westfield)contributed to VWC's defensive effort with seven saves. Roanoke goalie Cole Sinclair (Blacksburg/Blacksburg) recorded two saves.

Virginia Wesleyan competes again on Wednesday, Oct. 8, hosting Randolph-Macon College's Yellow Jackets in an ODAC game beginning at 7 p.m.