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Down For Much Of Match, Men’s Soccer Comes On Strong in Second Half

Jacob McHugh waiting for ball

ASHLAND, Va. – It took 76 minutes for Randolph-Macon men's soccer to get a score in its Old Dominion Athletic Conference Tournament Quarterfinal match. But a 77th minute penalty kick by senior Jacob McHugh (Aberdeen, Md. / West Nottingham Academy) reenergized the Yellow Jackets, who pushed another goal through to win the match 2-1 in front of a raucous homecoming crowd of nearly 1,000. R-MC now advances to the semifinal round against the #1 seed Lynchburg at LC next Saturday.

Hampden-Sydney got what stood as the only score of much of the match in the 35th minute of the first half on a shot that was headed over junior goalkeeper Brian Breslin (Fairfax, Va. / W.T. Woodson). H-SC's goal would stand as the only points on the board until minute 77.

That's when McHugh converted just the second penalty kick opportunity of the year to even the score at 1-1. McHugh is now 2-2 in PK's, with the other coming against Lynchburg last Saturday.

Senior Peter Nelson got the game-winning goal in the 84th minute. He took a blocked shot and pushed it into the back of the net during a scrum off the rebound inside the box. It marked Nelson's fourth goal of the season.

R-MC outshot H-SC 13-7, mostly on the efforts by the team in the second half – when they outshot the Tigers 9-4. Just one of R-MC's four first-half shots fell on goal, while three were on goal in the second half.

Senior Bryan Lutz (Fairfax, Va. / W.T. Woodson) led the team with five shots while sophomore Andrew Griggs (Galloway, N.J. / Absegami) took three shots and McHugh tried two. One shot for each was on goal.

Breslin made three saves, each coming in the second half, including two tough ones, right in a row during the 58th minute.

R-MC's defensive backs and midfield, made up of seniors McHugh and Jake Tyler (Colonial Heights, VA / Colonial Heights) and sophomores Paul Duffy (Salem, Va. / Salem) and Isaac Myers (Littlestown, Pa. / Gettysburg Area), kept the Hampden-Sydney offense in line during the critical minutes after both Yellow Jacket goals, preventing H-SC from getting the emotional comeback goal.

Randolph-Macon's deep bench also proved critical with freshmen Dylan Ogletree (La Plata, Md. / La Plata) and Ruben Niamien Fredericksburg, Va. / Chancellor) each taking a shot during their time in the match.

The Yellow Jackets also held the corner kick advantage 4-2 as well, taking two in each half.

The remainder of the tournament will now be at Lynchburg College, where the #1 seed beat #8 seed Eastern Mennonite 2-0 today. R-MC (14-2-1) will have to take on the hosts in the semifinal round on Saturday, November 4 at a time to be announced later. Lynchburg was one of just two ODAC losses for the Yellow Jackets this season when the Hornets beat R-MC on October 21, 2-1.