Eagles Set for Semifinal Matchup at Randolph-Macon; Game Pushed Back to Thursday
BRIDGEWATER, Va. – On Thursday, the Bridgewater Eagles field hockey team will play in its first Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament semifinal game since 2008 when the Eagles travel to Ashland, Va. to take on the Randolph-Macon Yellow Jackets.
Thursday's game was originally scheduled to take place on Tuesday evening, but was postponed due to the effects of Hurricane Sandy.
Randolph-Macon effectively earned the number two seed and an opening round bye by virtue of its 3-1 victory over the Eagles in early October at Mapp Field.
In the first meeting between the two teams, Bridgewater struck first in the game's opening minutes and took a lead into the locker room against the Yellow Jackets. In the second stanza, Randolph-Macon responded with three goals to upend the Eagles and push Bridgewater into a battle for third place in the league.
Head Coach Allyson Kenyon felt the Eagles made a number of key mistakes in the final 35 minutes of the first showdown between the two teams.
"We kind of became our own worst enemies in that game, said Kenyon. "We made a number of defensive mistakes which directly led to Randolph-Macon goals and when you make those kinds of mistakes against good teams, they'll make you pay."
Following their loss to the Yellow Jackets, the Eagles fell on the road at St. Mary's (Md.) in a shootout before racking up five straight wins, including Saturday's 8-1 victory over Roanoke in the quarterfinal round of the ODAC Tournament.
Bridgewater also made a number of changes on the offensive end after its loss to the Yellow Jackets, which have paid off as the Eagles have tallied 21 goals in their last five contests.
"We're a bit of a new look team since the last time we played Randolph-Macon. We made a few offensive tweaks, which have paid big dividends for us, and we're playing with a lot more confidence at this point in the year," said Kenyon.
Bridgewater is paced on the offensive end by the play of freshman Taylor Prillaman. The Magnolia, Del. native tallied three goals last week to up her season total to 14. Prillaman's 14 goals is the highest single season total for the program since Holly Ware's 16-goal effort in 1999. Her goal total currently ranks her second in the league.
Aside from Prillaman's production, sophomore Caroline Augsburger has also been impressive, posting eight assists on the year. Augsburger's eight assists matches senior Kelly Ryan's total assists from the 2011 season.
After starting the year 0-6, Randolph-Macon rebounded to win nine of its final twelve contests to close out the regular season with an overall record of 9-9.
The Yellow Jackets are led by sophomore Carrie Jacobs, who leads the team for the second straight year in goals with 10. Jacobs is currently ranked tied for fourth in the ODAC in total goals and is tied for fifth in points with 26.
Junior Lauren Seal and sophomore Catherine Pricone pace the R-MC offense, combining for 11 goals and 10 assists on the season. Seal currently sits first on the team and in a tie for second in the ODAC in assists with eight while Pricone is second on the team in goals with eight.
Goalkeeper Nicole Woodworth finished the regular season with an ODAC-leader 206 saves and a save percentage of .851. Woodworth is currently fifth in the ODAC in career saves with 647, just 18 shy from moving into the fourth spot.
"Woodworth is one of the best goalies that we've seen all year," said Kenyon. "She did some things in the first game that frustrated us a bit, but hopefully we can find some answers for her on Thursday."
The winner will book a trip to the ODAC Championship game, set to be played on Sunday. The conference championship matchup was set to be played on Saturday, but was pushed back due to scheduling changes affecting the semifinal round matchups. Sunday's championship game will be played at the site of the remaining high seed.
"To beat Randolph-Macon, it's going to sound cliché, but, it'll take a combination of the offensive production we've seen over the last two weeks, mixed with a solid defensive effort," said Kenyon.