Men’s soccer succeeding in ODAC play

The Generals have high hopes of winning the ODAC title again this season


Pete Emerson

Photo courtesy of Washington and Lee Athletics.

Ben Soullier

Coming off of a four-game win streak, the Washington and Lee men’s soccer team looks to use that momentum to propel them through a tough conference schedule.

Saturday, Sept. 30, the team played Randolph Macon and won it in overtime. Dylan Ritch, ‘19, scored the game-winning goal in the 102nd minute of the game. Ritch also had an assist on the team’s other goal of the game.

“I would definitely say it was a big relief to get that win,” said Captain Will Rowson, ‘19.  “Macon has given us problems in the past, but this year, considering how the non-conference games went, we know we can’t afford to give up points in the ODAC.”

Captain Jack Miller, ‘19, said the team was very happy with the outcome of the game.

“It was a big win for us,” Miller said. “But at the same time, we did not play to our full potential and recognized that we still have a lot to work on.”

The team got Miller’s message and beat Emory and Henry a few days later with a score of 8-0.

“If the Emory and Henry game showed us anything, it’s that every person on this team can dominate at the college level,” Rowson said. “Every player who traveled to [the college] played well, and it was overall just a classy, professional performance from the guys. I think we’ll be confident to chase that type of performance in future games.”

Miller said the Emory and Henry game was a huge confidence booster.

“We plan on playing the same way and riding the energy for our game against Lynchburg [on Oct. 6],” he said.

Moving forward the team has high expectations for the remainder of the season.

According to Rowson, their main team goal, “is to win the ODAC, both regular conference and postseason.”

Both Miller and Rowson stressed the importance of hard work and focus in order to achieve these goals.

“The best way to achieve this is to execute our game plan every day and to stay focused,” Miller said.

The next big game for the Generals was at Lynchburg on Oct. 6. Rowson talked about the importance of this game: “The Lynchburg game will show us what we’re really made of, and will probably be our biggest test of the season. We need to go in there and take 3 points to set ourselves up to achieve our goal of an ODAC championship.”

The Generals tied that game with a score of 1-1. The team has won its last four games of conference play. During this run, the team has not lost since Sept. 9, with its most recent win against Roanoke on Oct. 20 with a score of 1-0.

“A pretty general goal I have is to make sure I set myself up for success in every game by taking care of things like my fitness, my health, and my energy,” Rowson said. “But, another way of saying that is that I want to walk away from every game knowing I did everything I could to help us win. My goals at this point are simply more team-oriented.”

Miller said, “[My goals] are to be an effective team leader and to perform at the best of my ability on a daily basis.”

Rowson attributed a lot of the team’s success to the experience of the team and the variety between the four team captains.

“I think having four captains on the team this season has been successful because it has allowed each of us to focus on leading within our own specific styles and capacities,” he said.