Generals soccer bounced from ODAC tournament in overtime

The men’s soccer team lost its undefeated record after an overtime loss Nov. 3

Crawford Humphreys

The No. 1-ranked Washington and Lee men’s soccer team lost in heartbreaking fashion on Wednesday night after a penalty kick in overtime pushed Randolph College to the ODAC championship game.

The Generals, who came into the game protecting an undefeated season and holding the top seed in the tournament, were neck-and-neck on the pitch with the Wildcats, who struck first when Noah Carney, ’23, found the back of the net in the 25th minute.

The Generals quickly responded, with midfielder Samuel Bass, ’23, notching his eleventh goal of the season to equalize the game in the 31st minute.

However, Randolph didn’t let the tie last for long. The Wildcats burst out of halftime with a quick goal from Tucker Levrone, ’24, to make it a 2-1 game in the 45th minute.

The Generals continued to fight what seemed like an uphill battle as time began to dwindle in the second half.

It wasn’t until defender Tyler Smith, ’23, electrified the Washington and Lee faithful with a goal in the 76th minute that the game went back to a draw.

Smith’s goal would end up sending the game into overtime after a couple of near misses from both sides as regulation time expired.

However, the momentum swung back in favor of Randolph after a penalty in the 99th minute by Washington and Lee.

This set up defending ODAC Player of the Year Evan Blow, ’22, with a penalty kick for the win.

Blow’s shot slid past the goalie to give the Wildcats the upset victory, drawing both dismay and joy from the reported crowd of 257 people who braved the cold at Alston Parker Watt Field in Lexington.

The loss broke a historic 16-game winning streak for the Generals. It was longest single-season winning streak in school history, according to the Generals Athletics website.

The loss also gave the Generals an unclear picture of what’s to come in the NCAA tournament. Though the Generals are expected to make the field of 64 teams, they will be seeking an at-large  bid to the tournament without a conference championship win.

However, the Generals believe the loss gave the team a much-needed wakeup call ahead of the single-elimination NCAA tournament.

“I think everyone was a bit disappointed with the way ODACs ended,” said team captain Jack Rawlins ’22. “But I think at the same time, it was good for us to have that feeling, that sensation of losing so that we can know we don’t want to feel that again this season.”

The loss also gives the Generals an extra week of rest and practice ahead of the fast-paced tournament, which consists of six rounds of play.

Despite the upset, the team still feels like they have what it takes to make a run at a national title as they draw confidence from their strong play throughout the season.

“We still feel like this team can achieve really special things,” said team captain Michael Nyc ’22. “We’re pretty excited and ready to compete in NCAAs.”