Defending ODAC champ VWC advances to semifinals

Defending ODAC champ VWC advances to semifinals

VIRGINIA BEACH -- Senior Chris Cooke tied the lead for most goals scored for the Virginia Wesleyan College men's soccer team with a score in the first half Saturday.

Senior Isaac Arrington broke the short-lived tie in the second half with a goal, but with a little help from Cooke.

It all led to a 2-0 Virginia Wesleyan win over Bridgewater College's Eagles in an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) quarterfinal tournament game played on a very windy, chilly afternoon on Foster Field at the Trinder Center. Virginia Wesleyan, the No. 3 seed and defending ODAC champion, improves to 11-4-3 and advances to the semifinals on Tuesday, Nov. 4, while Bridgewater, the No. 6 seed, closes its season with a 6-13 record.

Cooke (Hampton/Phoebus) increased his season goal total to six just three minutes into the contest when he followed a shot and scored on a rebound kick from inside the box.  Rookie Alex Suprise (Milwaukee, Wis./Pius XI) was credited with the assist.

Virginia Wesleyan maintained its lead throughout the half, and the game, helped by a consistent defensive effort sparked by seniors Stephen Sawicki (Bethesda, Md./Bethesda-Chevy Chase) and Brandon St. Amour (Stafford/Mountain View) and rookie Tyler Ostrovecky (Haymarket/Battlefield), among others.  The "D" limited Bridgewater to just one shot in the first half and only three for the game.

Shots were a little more plentiful for the Marlins, who finished with 17, including 12 in the second half.  Arrington (DeSoto, Texas/Midlothian, Texas) came through with one of those shots, firing the ball between the goalie's legs and into the net in the 52nd minute.  His seventh goal of the season was set up by a well-delivered cross from Cooke to sophomore Tanner Martin (York, Pa./Suburban), who kept the ball moving to Arrington inside the box for the shot and score.

VWC finished with a 17-3 advantage in shots and a 6-3 edge in corner kicks.

Junior goalie Connor Kirkham (Centerville/Chantilly Westfield) anchored a defense that recorded its third shutout in its last four outings, and eighth overall.  He improved his goals against average to 0.69, which is currently the sixth best in VWC history and the best since Kyle Williams posted a 0.68 mark in 2006. Kevin Morris (Knoxville, Tenn./Westminster, Md.) produced five saves for Bridgewater.