Soccer rivalry with Lynchburg lives on

Women’s Soccer loses to Lynchburg in ODAC final, in hard fought 1-0 game


Peter Rathmell

For the second year in a row, the Washington and Lee Women’s Soccer team fell one win shy of claiming victory in the ODAC Championship, losing the ultimate prize that comes with such a title: a berth into the NCAA tournament.

Last Saturday, in a rematch of last year’s championship game, the second seeded Generals fell 1-0 to the ODAC’s top seeded Lynchburg College.

“They had a lot of possession and took more shots, which is typical, but I thought we defended well and had a solid game plan,” said Head Coach Neil Cunningham.“We played two good halves, played hard and did all that we could.”

Lynchburg went into the match undefeated and ranked number 2 in the nation, but the Generals never backed down. The game was knotted at zero until the 75th  minute when Lynchburg’s Dessi Dupuy broke away in the box for a header goal.

Lynchburg has since moved up to the number one ranking in the country, according to

Of the 64 teams that get bids into the NCAA tournament, forty-four of them come from automatic bids given to conference champions. That leaves only twenty spots open for at-large teams.

As a result, it is extremely difficult for teams which are not in the traditional power conferences to receive these bids. Despite being top heavy with strong teams such as Lynchburg and W&L, overall the ODAC does not have the reputation to bolster its tournament runner up into the NCAAs.

“We feel like the bid was stolen from us,” said junior goalkeeper Addie Healy.  “We were undefeated except against the number two team in the nation [Lynchburg].”

Healy is not the only player who feels as if the team deserved a bid, but the team is not letting this disappointment get to them. Instead, they are gearing up for another run next year, knowing better than ever that the only guaranteed way to earn a bid is to win the ODAC tournament.

“We started eight underclassmen this year, so we have a lot of depth and coach [Cunningham] is a great recruiter so we’ll be ready again,”  said sophomore forward Tricia Jessee.

Having made it to the ODAC tournament championship match two years in a row, the Generals know what it takes to make it to that final game. Now, under the leadership of upperclassmen such as Jessee and Healy, the Generals will use last Saturday as motivation to get what, according to Healy, they deserve: an ODAC championship ring and a berth in the NCAA tournament.