No ODACs? No problem. Strong season earns men’s soccer at-large bid to NCAA tournament anyway

Though the ODAC tournament did not go as the men’s soccer team had hoped, the team still earned a bid to the NCAA tournament and proved it belongs on the national stage with a first round win

Elly Cosgrove

For the second year in a row, the Washington and Lee Men’s Soccer Team advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament. Though this season, the path to the postseason was a little trickier.

After shutting out Bridgewater and Roanoke in the ODAC tournament, the Generals fell to Lynchburg in the championship match. To make the NCAA tournament then, the Generals would then need an at-large bid.

“Shutting out Roanoke and Bridgewater was great and extremely satisfying,” Jack Miller, ’19. “It sends a very clear message that we are focused and fully prepared.”

Against Lynchburg, the Generals had the lead over the Hornets when Will Hamryka, ’19, scored an unassisted goal early in the first half. However, Lynchburg fought back and scored with just under six minutes remaining to tie the game and secured the ODAC title minutes later by a W&L own goal.

Even though the Generals were not able to come away with an ODAC championship title, which would automatically have given them a bid to the NCAA tournament, the men’s soccer team waited to see if they would receive an at-large bid. An announcement that came at 1 p.m. on Nov. 7 confirmed that the team was selected to receive an at-large bid, thus advancing them on to the NCAA tournament.

“Our goal is to constantly improve. As for the playoffs, we simply want to continue our style of play and to make sure that we execute the game plan,” said Miller in response to the news of the at-large bid.

In the NCAA tournament opening round, the team met St. Lawrence in a dramatic game that ended in a penalty kick shootout.

Viktor Dolberg, ‘19, scored early in the match to give the Generals a 1-0 lead. By halftime, though, the game would be knotted at one

goal apiece. Neither team would score another goal in either regulation or overtime, resulting in a penalty kick shootout, which the Generals won 5-3.

The Generals had a quick turnaround and faced Franklin and Marshall the next day. Washington and Lee, ranked 20th in the nation by, fell to Franklin and Marshall, ranked 14th in the nation.

Franklin and Marshall had an early lead on the Generals when the Diplomats scored in the 13th-minute on a free kick. Franklin and Marshall secured their lead and the win on a goal that brought the score to 2-0 with just 1:31 left on the clock.

The Washington and Lee men’s soccer had a great overall season with a record of 15-5-2. According to, this is the third appearance in the NCAA tournament for the team and the second year in-a-row that the Generals advanced to the second round.

Making it to the NCAA tournament in back-to-back years was “great for our team and the men’s soccer program,” said Miller. This has been one of the team’s goals since the start of the season, he added.

“It shows that we have grown as a team and that we strive to exist as a national powerhouse,” said Miller.