LEXINGTON, Va. – The top-seeded Washington and Lee men's soccer team scored four straight goals en route to claiming the 2015 Old Dominion Athletic Conference Championship with a 5-2 victory over second-seeded Randolph on Sunday at Watt Field.
The Generals (15-3-2) have now won four ODAC titles in program history. The last conference championship was during the 2000 season when the Blue and White defeated Virginia Wesleyan, 1-0.
Senior midfielder Ben Bayles (Fleming Island, Fla. / Fleming Island) scored the first tally off of a penalty kick for W&L after the WildCats (13-5-3) were whistled for a foul inside the penalty box at the 20:08 mark. Junior midfielder David Cohen (Chesterfield, N.J. / Northern Burlington) extended the lead in the 34th-minute when he bent in a free kick that was taken nearly parallel to the goal line. Washington and Lee took the 2-0 lead into intermission.
Bayles struck again 13:18 into the second half after receiving a forwarding pass from first-year midfielder Will Hamryka (Dawsonville, Ga. / Greater Atlanta Christian School) and finding the net. The Generals then pushed the lead to 4-0 in the 63rd-minute when first-year midfielder Dylan Ritch (Mint Hill, N.C. / Independence) beat first-year keeper Matt Tourbin (Leesburg, Va. / Loudoun County).
Randolph responded at the 77:55 mark after junior forward Troy Jurney (Camp Lejeune, N.C. / White Oak) chipped in a set piece off of a corner kick taken by junior defender Blake Heatherly (Jacksonville, N.C. / Jacksonville) to cut W&L's lead to 4-1. Jurney found the back of the net again just 2:26 later when he scored off of a loose ball that rebounded off of the post.
For the game, W&L held a 17-16 edge in shots and an 8-6 advantage in corner kicks.
Sophomore goalkeeper Gillen Beck (Blacksburg, Va. / Blacksburg) stopped six shots in 73:34 of action for the Generals, while junior Connor Hayward (Dallas, Texas / Highland Park) saw the remaining 16:26. Tourbin suffered the loss for the WildCats, playing 64:31 of the contest and finishing with four saves. Senior goalie CJ Stevens (Mechanicsville, Va. / Lee-Davis) saw the remaining 25:29 of the match in net.
Beck, Bayles, junior defender Patrick Barry (West Roxbury, Mass. / Roxbury Latin School) and first-year defender Nathan Gibson (Cincinnati, Ohio / Cincinnati Country Day) were all chosen to represent Washington and Lee on the ODAC All-Tournament Team for their efforts. Heatherly was joined by teammates first-year defender Julian Williams-Milne (Richlands, N.C. / Richlands) and sophomore midfielder Austin Black (Woodbridge, Va. / CD Hylton) for Randolph.
With the win, W&L earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, and will learn whom it plays when the selection show airs Monday at 1:30 pm on NCAA.com.
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