LYNCHBURG, Va. – Randolph-Macon and Lynchburg played a tight contest for 106 minutes, but the Hornets got the golden goal in the second overtime period to end R-MC's season in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference semifinals on Saturday afternoon. Randolph-Macon ends the season 14-3-1 overall, which is the team's most wins since the 1994 season when R-MC went 14-5-1. A 6-2-1 conference finish is the best since 1999 when the team went 7-1-1 in the ODAC.
Senior Jacob McHugh (Aberdeen, Md. / West Nottingham Academy) opened the scoring for either team in the 28th minute with a shot inside the box that hit the net following a pass from sophomore Andrew Griggs (Galloway, N.J. / Absegami).McHugh, playing in the midfield instead of defense, marked his seventh goal of 2017. Griggs tallied his fifth assist, the most on the team.
Lynchburg scored their only goal of the first half just seven seconds before the end of half whistle. The teams entered the break with a 1-1 tie.
R-MC got the first goal of the second half in minute 71. Sophomore Paul Duffy (Salem, Va. / Salem) got the ball into the goal off of a senior Bryan Lutz (Fairfax, Va. / W.T. Woodson) pass. It was Duffy's third goal of 2017 and Lutz's third assist.
The Yellow Jackets had the lead for just around six minutes. That's when Lynchburg scored their second goal of the match to tie it at two apiece. With no goals for either side for the remainder of the game, the teams headed to the first overtime period.
In OT 1, neither team was able to net the ball, sending the game to a second overtime period. That's when Lynchburg scored about halfway through the period to end the game with the golden goal.
The group of McHugh and junior Peyton Chichester (Richmond, Va. / James River) and sophomore Anthony Astruc (Glen Allen, Va. / Benedictine) dominated much of the match through the middle of the pitch. Astruc played after being out with an injury for more than two weeks and only practicing for the first time Friday.
Lutz played an exceptional game with both his head and his feet. He maintained a constant threat to score throughout the match, while also playing well when the ball was in the air.
Sophomore Christian Torres (Stafford, Va. / C.D. Hylton) earned the team multiple free kicks, playing a role in many opportunities the Yellow Jackets had. Griggs played both sides of the field in phenomenal fashion, as well as ensured the offense ran smoothly with good service chances.
The starting defensive line of Duffy, and fellow sophomores Isaac Myers and Josh Beeker (Bel Air, Md. / Bel Air) along with senior Jake Tyler (Colonial Heights, VA / Colonial Heights), kept many Lynchburg opportunities out of the net while junior goalkeeper Brian Breslin (Fairfax, Va. / W.T. Woodson) was able to tally six saves, including one of the most critical of the match in the first overtime period. Beeker started his fifth match of the season in place of McHugh who moved up to midfield. Beeker took away multiple chances for Lynchburg while playing outside of his normal position.
Myers had the tough task of going up against Lynchburg's Freddy Flores, who has the second most goals of any player in the ODAC. It set up a great battle between the duo, with both athletes playing well.
As has been the case in many games this season, the R-MC bench came up big in relieving starters. Freshman Dylan Ogletree (La Plata, Md. / La Plata) played outside back during the first half in relief of Beeker, causing disruption in Lynchburg's offensive plan. He played on the wing for just the second time this season, creating multiple opportunities for R-MC offensively.
With the loss, Randolph-Macon ends one of the best seasons in recent memory. Look for a full season recap next week.