Written by Alexis Barton
After successful regular seasons, both the men’s and women’s soccer teams have marched their way into the ODAC playoffs. Following the men’s 1-0 victory of rival Washington & Lee and the women’s 1-0 win over Randolph-Macon, these Maroons are turning into a force to be reckoned with this post-season.
In 2019, the men’s team lost to Washington & Lee in the semifinal game of the playoffs. With nearly a year and a half under their belt, the Maroons handed the Generals a loss after finishing with a 6-1-1 record. In most aspects of the game, the second seed Washington & Lee dominated the Maroons, with three times as many shots on goal and more than triple the number of shots throughout the match. Despite the Generals’ somewhat sound performance, the one area that they fell short was in goals. A mere seven minutes into the game, Roanoke midfielder Chris Jerrild scored the only goal of the game, giving the Maroons their victory early on. The Roanoke defense, of course, had the challenging duty of defending their lone goal. Goalkeeper Zach Behe, who ended the match with six saves and a perfect save percentage, led their effort with support from Vincent Lamina and Joe Carman amongst others in the strong Maroon defense. With just over a minute left of play, the Generals made a valiant attempt to even the score one final time, only to be stopped by Roanoke’s Joe Carman who pushed their attacker just wide of shooting range.
Later that afternoon, the third-seed Roanoke women’s team would take the field against six-seed Emory & Henry. Despite finishing with a record of 2-4-2 this season, the visiting Wasps put up a fight against the Maroons. The first and only goal didn’t come until 31 minutes into the game when junior defense Emma Woods took advantage of a free kick given to the Maroons. Her shot soared just under the crossbar to give the Maroons their only goal of the game. Woods was assisted by forward Morgan O’Neill in their offensive attack throughout the match. Following Woods’ goal, O’Neill sent one shot just over the crossbar and had two shots on goal that were narrowly saved by the visiting goalkeeper in the second half. Each defense stood strong as time winded down, but after 90 minutes of strong play, Roanoke goalkeeper Carrington Lippi picked up her seventh win of the season with one save.
With well-earned victories from both teams under their belts, the Maroons look ahead to the semifinals on Friday, April 9th. The men will travel to six-seed Guilford and the women will take on the two-seed Bridgewater. Both of these teams have proven that they can handle the pressure so far, now they set their sights on the semifinals and beyond. Be sure to follow the action via livestream on the Roanoke Athletics website, www.roanokemaroons.com. Go Maroons!