BRIDGEWATER – Bridgewater College women's soccer head coach Mike Van Horn has released the team's 2018 schedule, highlighted by two games on the road against NCAA tournament teams from a year ago.
The Eagles, looking to build upon a strong 2017 season that included an appearance in the ODAC championship game, will be tested early with two matchups at Rowan University.
Bridgewater opens the season on Aug. 31 against The College of New Jersey, an NCAA Division III Final Four team a year ago. TCNJ posted a 21-1-1 record in 2017, losing in the national semifinals to the University of Chicago, 1-0. On the way to the Final four, the Lions defeated ODAC foes Virginia Wesleyan 3-0 and Lynchburg 5-0. The Final Four appearance was the 12th in program history for TCNJ.
A day later, the Eagles face Rowan, another NCAA tournament team. The Profs finished the 2017 season with a 12-3-3 record, losing in the first round of NCAA tournament action to Scranton, 2-0.
Bridgewater then hosts Averett, 3-9-2 a year ago, before playing two games at the Washington and Lee Classic. The Eagles open play in Lexington, Va., against Salisbury, a member of the Capital Athletic Conference. The Seagulls were 10-10 last year, including a 2-0 loss to Bridgewater. The Eagles will also play Franklin & Marshall out of the Centennial Conference. The Diplomats are coming off a 6-9-1 season.
The Eagles also have non-conference home games with Southern Virginia and N.C. Wesleyan and a road date with Frostburg State. Bridgewater was 3-0 against those team in 2017. Bridgewater defeated SVU 2-1 and blanked N.C. Wesleyan 3-0. The Eagles had a tough contest against Frostburg State, winning 1-0 in two overtimes.
Bridgewater's final "non-conference" contest will be on the road against ODAC rival Roanoke College, This season's game will not count in the conference standings. The Maroons edged the Eagles, 1-0 in overtime, in the 2017 matchup.
The Eagles will play ODAC road games at Eastern Mennonite, Washington and Lee, Randolph, Randolph-Macon and Shenandoah during the 2018 season.
Bridgewater's conference home slate includes games with Emory & Henry, Guilford, Lynchburg, Hollins and Virginia Wesleyan.
The Eagles will honor their seniors on Oct. 17 in the match against Hollins. The Oct. 27 contest against Virginia Wesleyan will be the program's annual Cancer Awareness game.
Bridgewater advanced to the ODAC Championship match in 2017 where the Eagles lost to Lynchburg 1-0 in overtime. The Eagles finished the 2017 season with a 16-5-1 overall record.