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Eagles Advance To Semifinals With 2-0 Victory

Leo Alcantara works to maintain possession of the ball

BRIDGEWATER, Va. - Bridgewater College defeated Ferrum College, 2-0, Sunday in the quarterfinal round of the ODAC men's soccer tournament.

The victory sends the Eagles to the ODAC semifinals next weekend at Washington and Lee University where they will play the winner of Sunday night's Lynchburg-Randolph match.

This is just the second time in program history the Eagles have advanced to the conference semifinals. Bridgewater reached the semis in 2005 after advancing past Hampden-Sydney on penalty kicks in the quarterfinal round. That year, the Eagles lost in the semis to Virginia Wesleyan, 2-1. 

The Eagles came out strong against the Panthers Sunday afternoon and took the lead in the ninth minute. The Panthers were whistled for a foul on the left side, giving the Eagles a free kick. Leo Alcantara took the kick and sent the ball into the box where Thomas White flicked a header back toward the goal. Matthew Pagano took the ball out of the air and put his shot into the back of the net for a 1-0 Bridgewater lead.

Bridgewater threatened again in the 16th minute when White possessed the ball inside the box on right side. White sent a cross toward the far post where Grant Blevins was open for the shot but Ferrum's Jose Bonifasi got a foot on the ball to redirect it away from Blevins.

Ferrum had a solid chance to tie in the 23rd minute when the Eagles were called for a yellow card, giving the Panther a free kick from just outside the box on the left side. Ferrum's Michael Lyons took the shot, but the attempt was wide right.

The Eagles kept pressure on the Panthers late in the first half, but were unable to connect for a second goal. In the 38th minute, Jacob Heiston took the ball toward the corner and sent across into the box right in front of the goal. White knifed in and got a head on the ball but his shot was just high over the cross bar.

Moments later, Eagles' freshman Nick Benjamin hit a solid shot from deep that was blocked by a defender as the Eagles continued their pressure. The Eagles had one last look in the closing seconds but Alcantara's shot from 20 yards out sailed wide as the half ended with the Eagles leading 1-0.

The Eagles held on to the 1-0 lead until the 81st minute when they were finally able to add an important insurance goal. Alcantara had the possession on the left side and dribbled the ball into the box. He passed the ball to the middle of the box where Luke Stubbs hit a low shot just inside the post to beat the keeper, giving the Eagles the 2-0 cushion.

Bridgewater finished the contest with a 12-10 edge in shots and a 3-0 advantage in corner kicks. 

Eagles' goalkeeper Quentin Boric finished with three saves to record his fifth shutout of the season.

Bridgewater, now 10-6-1, reached double digits in victories for just the fifth time in program history.