The Men’s Soccer team finished their regular season with one last ODAC matchup against Guilford College. The Maroons came into this contest ranked 24th for Division III schools in the nation and their record of 12-2-2 overall, 9-0-1 in the ODAC, was good for first in the league. The Guilford Quakers had struggled throughout the season and came in with a 5-10-2 record overall, but a modest 4-4-2 record in the ODAC. Although Roanoke had already clinched the top seed for the ODAC playoffs, this was far from a meaningless game. The Maroons were playing for an undefeated ODAC record, and the Quakers were not about to let them off with an easy win.
The first half showed that, despite their vastly different records, the two teams were evenly matched. Both teams were able to push through the other’s defense, but neither managed to hold possession for more than a few minutes. Various corner kicks and through balls went unfinished for both teams, and the Quakers actually outshot the Maroons 4-3 in the first half. Roanoke goalkeeper, Cole Sinclair (1), had two impressive diving saves in the first half and was largely responsible for the 0-0 tie at the end of the first half. The Maroons increased the offensive pressure in the first half and fired ten shots, including a near miss by Tyler Carbaugh (3) that appeared to give Roanoke the lead. However, the second half ended the same as the first, and the game went into a ten minute “Golden Goal” overtime period.
The Maroons dominated the overtime period and, for the first time all game, one team appeared to have a clear advantage. Roanoke maintained possession for a majority of the ten minute overtime, yet the Maroons, once again, were unable to find the back of the net. Carbaugh had another near miss that slipped through the legs of the Quakers keeper, but the shot missed just wide. At the end of the ten minutes, the score remained tied at 0-0 and the teams began another ten minute “Golden Goal” overtime.
Three minutes into the second overtime, a beautiful through-ball found Robby Lentine (4) and Christopher Fisher (11) wide open in a two-on-one situation with the goalie. Lentine took the ball and brought it down field until the keeper came to attack the ball and, with a smooth pass, Lentine hit Fisher for an open net goal. This was Fisher’s first goal of the season and a fitting way for the senior to conclude his final season. With the win, the Maroons secured their first undefeated ODAC season in over a decade.
The Maroons will look to ride their incredible game into the playoffs when they face the eighth seeded Eastern Mennonite squad at Kerr Stadium on Nov. 1. Roanoke beat Eastern Mennonite by a score of 4-3 earlier in the season and they hope for a similar outcome at Saturday’s game.