Women's soccer advances past Messiah in PKs

Delia LoSapio dives to make a save. Graphic on left showing 2-2 final score with team logos.

Newport News, Va. -- She had already saved the match, it seemed, a dozen times.

Now was her chance to put it away.

University of Lynchburg goalkeeper Delia LoSapio (Raleigh, N.C.) stepped to the ball and one-timed it into the back of the net for the Hornets' second penalty kick in Friday night's shootout.

Moments later, Messiah's fifth attempt clanged off the crossbar, and Lynchburg's team streaked onto the field in celebration.

A 2-2 draw through 110 minutes of play, three PKs to the Falcons' two, and the Hornets became one of the last eight NCAA Division III women's soccer teams to be playing in 2018.

"That was truly an epic college soccer game. This is what it's all about," Lynchburg head coach Dr. Todd Olsen said shortly after.

No. 17 Lynchburg will face No. 8 Christopher Newport, which eliminated No. 14 Hope, 2-1 Friday, Saturday at 6 p.m.

"I wasn't even sure that we had won," LoSapio said, explaining a moment of hesitation after the decisive missed kick.

Forgive her that, as it was the only time the senior hesitated all evening. She racked up a career-high 10 saves in the biggest match of her life and converted the penalty kick when the team needed her most.

Of course, LoSapio didn't do it alone.

Senior forward Caitlin Mertens (Succasunna, N.J.) scored both of Lynchburg's goals in the first half. The output nearly doubled the goals-allowed total for second-ranked Messiah, which had allowed just three in 21 matches headed into play Friday.

Mertens' first strike came in the sixth minute, a short cross from graduate student midfielder Rachel Cooke (Charlottesville, Va.) finished into the left corner of the net.

Messiah's Brooke Firestone tied the match 10 minutes later, but Mertens broke through again in the 35th minute, chasing down an errant Falcons pass and beating the Messiah keeper with a left boot.

"I've been telling her for four years she can be the best player we've ever had at Lynchburg," Olsen said of his star forward, "and I think she's finally believing me."

With a 2-1 lead at halftime, Olsen switched his lineup to a four-back set -- the first such look for Lynchburg this season -- thinking to hold onto the lead despite a relentless Messiah attack.

If a goal came on a counterattack, great. If not, his group could hold the line.

It worked for 40 minutes.

Then Messiah's Maddie Kohl beat a Hornet defender, who slipped, and finished off the left post to tie the match, 2-2, with 4:35 remaining in regulation.

"My heart just dropped all the way down to my toes," Olsen admitted.

But he quickly added, "The team didn't, though. They showed resilience."

LoSapio explained the mindset on the pitch.

"You could just sense that it was going to be OK," the senior said. "We were going to get it."

Lynchburg mounted attacks of their own, moving back to the normal, three-back look they were accustomed to in overtime, and LoSapio made four would-be-sudden-death saves to get the match to penalty kicks.

The rest happened like a dream.

Mertens nailed Lynchburg's first kick, responding to a make by Messiah's Lilly Shover.

Then both keepers made saves.

After that, it was all Hornets. LoSapio and sophomore midfielder Sarah Wescott (Midlothian, Va.) calmly converted their kicks, while the Falcons missed high and hit the crossbar on two of their next three, pushing Lynchburg along into the national quarterfinals.

It's the first time the Hornets have made it that far in the tournament since 2014, the year of the program's only national championship.

Lynchburg beat Messiah in penalty kicks that season, too.

--LYN--

 

Women's soccer blanks Emory U.
September 15, 2018 Women's soccer blanks Emory U.
No Event
Wed Oct 24
Final
3 Lynchburg
1 at Va. Wesleyan
Wed Oct 24
Final
3 Lynchburg
0 at Guilford
Fri Oct 26
Final
6 No. 6 South Carolina
2 Lynchburg
Fri Oct 26
Final
1 Randolph
3 Lynchburg
Senior Night/CODE RED Match -- Rescheduled from Sept. 15
Fri Oct 26
Final
3 Southern Virginia
2 Lynchburg
Senior Night
Sat Oct 27
vs. ODAC Championships
@ Winchester, Va.
Sat Oct 27
6th/8
at Bridgewater IHSA
Sat Oct 27
Final
1 Washington and Lee
4 Lynchburg
Senior Day | CODE RED Game
Sat Oct 27
Final
0 Ferrum
4 No. 15 Lynchburg
Senior Night
Sun Oct 28
Final
0 Randolph
3 No. 10 Lynchburg
Game 4 - ODAC Quarterfinals
Wed Oct 31
Final - 2OT
1 Washington and Lee
2 No. 15 Lynchburg
Game 5 - ODAC Quarterfinals
Wed Oct 31
Final
1 Lynchburg
3 at Bridgewater (Va.)
Match 4 - ODAC Quarterfinals
Fri Nov 02
Final
1 Roanoke
3 Lynchburg
Game 3 - ODAC Semifinals
Fri Nov 02
Final - OT
0 Washington and Lee
1 vs. Shenandoah
@ Lynchburg, Va. Game 4 - ODAC Semifinals
Sat Nov 03
7th/8
at Randolph IHSA
Sat Nov 03
Final
5 No. 16 Lynchburg
1 vs. Randolph-Macon
@ Bridgewater, Va. Game 7 - ODAC Semifinals
Sat Nov 03
Final
1 Bridgewater (Va.)
0 No. 10 Lynchburg
Game 7 - ODAC Semifinals
Sat Nov 03
Final
2 Shenandoah
7 Lynchburg
Game 5 - ODAC Championship
Sun Nov 04
Final
0 Va. Wesleyan
3 vs. No. 16 Lynchburg
@ Bridgewater, Va. Game 8 - ODAC Championship
Wed Nov 07
Final
1 No. 20 Denison
3 Lynchburg
NCAA Division III Tournament -- First Round
Thu Nov 08
Final
57 Ferrum
75 Lynchburg
Non-Conference Game
Sat Nov 10
Men 6th/Women 7th
vs. NCAA South/Southeast Region Championships
@ Mount Berry, Ga.
Sat Nov 10
7th/8
Lynchburg IHSA
CODE RED Day
Sat Nov 10
Final
0 Lynchburg
1 at No. 3 Rowan
NCAA Division III Tournament - Second Round
Sat Nov 10
Final
1 Piedmont
2 No. 17 Lynchburg
NCAA Division III Tournament - First Round
Sat Nov 10
Final
52 N.C. Wesleyan
80 Lynchburg
Note time change
Sun Nov 11
Final
80 St. Mary's (Md.)
83 Lynchburg
Sun Nov 11
Final
0 No. 22 Emory
2 No. 17 Lynchburg
NCAA Division III Tournament - Second Round
Tue Nov 13
Final
60 Averett
52 Lynchburg
Fri Nov 16
Final
69 Moravian
63 vs. Lynchburg
@ Union, N.J.
Fri Nov 16
Final - PK Away
2 No. 17 Lynchburg
2 vs. No. 2 Messiah
@ Newport News, Va. NCAA Division III Tournament - Third Round
Sat Nov 17
vs. NCAA Division III Championships
@ Winneconne, Wis.
Sat Nov 17
Final - 2OT
79 Lynchburg
83 at Kean
Sat Nov 17
Final
48 Randolph
60 Lynchburg
Sat Nov 17
Final
0 No. 17 Lynchburg
1 at No. 8 Chris. Newport
NCAA Division III Tournament - Quarterfinals
Tue Nov 20
Final
49 Lynchburg
64 at Mary Washington
Sun Nov 25
Final
72 East. Mennonite
87 Lynchburg
Tue Nov 27
Final
68 Lynchburg
60 at Washington and Lee
Wed Nov 28
Final
66 Emory & Henry
87 Lynchburg
Thu Nov 29
Final
55 Lynchburg
58 at Randolph-Macon
Fri Nov 30
vs. Bast-Cregger Invitational
@ Roanoke College, Salem, Va.
Sat Dec 01
vs. Bast-Cregger Invitational
@ Roanoke College, Salem, Va.
Sat Dec 01
Final
48 Randolph
82 vs. No. 22 Chris. Newport
@ Lynchburg, Va. (Turner Gymnasium) Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 1
Sat Dec 01
Final
64 Mary Washington
69 Lynchburg
Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 2
Sun Dec 02
Final
66 Randolph
75 vs. Mary Washington
@ Lynchburg, Va. Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 3
Sun Dec 02
Final
74 Lynchburg
62 at Shenandoah
Sun Dec 02
Final
64 No. 22 Chris. Newport
77 Lynchburg
Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 4 | CODE RED Game
Wed Dec 05
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
82 at Guilford
Wed Dec 05
Final
54 Randolph
80 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 08
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
76 at Methodist
Sat Dec 08
Final
73 Va. Wesleyan
55 Lynchburg
Sun Dec 16
4:00 PM
McDaniel
Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
2:00 PM
Muskingum
vs. Lynchburg
@ Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. Guilford Classic
Sat Dec 29
2:00 PM
Chris. Newport
Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic
Sun Dec 30
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Greensboro
@ Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. Guilford Classic
Sun Dec 30
4:00 PM
Meredith
Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic
Tue Jan 01
4:00 PM
Averett
Lynchburg
Sat Jan 05
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at East. Mennonite
Sat Jan 05
4:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Shenandoah
Mon Jan 07
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee
Lynchburg
Wed Jan 09
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Emory & Henry
Wed Jan 09
7:00 PM
Hollins
Lynchburg
Sat Jan 12
2:00 PM
Va. Wesleyan
Lynchburg
Sat Jan 12
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Emory & Henry
Wed Jan 16
7:00 PM
Guilford
Lynchburg
Thu Jan 17
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Fri Jan 18
vs. VMI Keydet Invitational
@ Lexington, Va.
Sat Jan 19
vs. VMI Keydet Invitational
@ Lexington, Va.
Sat Jan 19
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Bridgewater (Va.)
Sat Jan 19
6:00 PM
Lynchburg
at East. Mennonite
Wed Jan 23
7:00 PM
Guilford
Lynchburg
Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Wed Jan 23
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Randolph
Fri Jan 25
vs. Liberty University Kickoff
@ Lynchburg, Va.
Sat Jan 26
vs. Liberty University Kickoff
@ Lynchburg, Va.
Sat Jan 26
2:00 PM
Roanoke
Lynchburg
Alumni Day
Sat Jan 26
4:30 PM
Randolph-Macon
Lynchburg
Alumni Day/Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Wed Jan 30
7:00 PM
Emory & Henry
Lynchburg
Wed Jan 30
7:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
No Event
View Full Schedule
No events to show.
No Event
Thu Nov 08
Final
57 Ferrum
75 Lynchburg
Non-Conference Game
Sun Nov 11
Final
80 St. Mary's (Md.)
83 Lynchburg
Sat Nov 17
Final
48 Randolph
60 Lynchburg
Sun Nov 25
Final
72 East. Mennonite
87 Lynchburg
Wed Nov 28
Final
66 Emory & Henry
87 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 01
Final
48 Randolph
82 vs. No. 22 Chris. Newport
@ Lynchburg, Va. (Turner Gymnasium) Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 1
Sat Dec 01
Final
64 Mary Washington
69 Lynchburg
Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 2
Sun Dec 02
Final
66 Randolph
75 vs. Mary Washington
@ Lynchburg, Va. Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 3
Sun Dec 02
Final
64 No. 22 Chris. Newport
77 at Lynchburg
Wayne Proffitt Classic -- Game 4 | CODE RED Game
Wed Dec 05
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
82 at Guilford
Sat Dec 08
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
76 at Methodist
Sun Dec 16
4:00 PM
McDaniel
Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
2:00 PM
Muskingum
vs. Lynchburg
@ Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. Guilford Classic
Sun Dec 30
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Greensboro
@ Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. Guilford Classic
Tue Jan 01
4:00 PM
Averett
Lynchburg
Sat Jan 05
4:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Shenandoah
Wed Jan 09
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Emory & Henry
Sat Jan 12
2:00 PM
Va. Wesleyan
Lynchburg
Thu Jan 17
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Sat Jan 19
6:00 PM
Lynchburg
at East. Mennonite
Wed Jan 23
7:00 PM
Guilford
Lynchburg
Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Sat Jan 26
4:30 PM
Randolph-Macon
Lynchburg
Alumni Day/Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Wed Jan 30
7:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
No Event
View Full Schedule
No Event
No Event
Sat Nov 10
Final
52 N.C. Wesleyan
80 Lynchburg
Note time change
Tue Nov 13
Final
60 Averett
52 Lynchburg
Fri Nov 16
Final
69 Moravian
63 vs. Lynchburg
@ Union, N.J.
Sat Nov 17
Final - 2OT
79 Lynchburg
83 at Kean
Tue Nov 20
Final
49 Lynchburg
64 at Mary Washington
Tue Nov 27
Final
68 Lynchburg
60 at Washington and Lee
Thu Nov 29
Final
55 Lynchburg
58 at Randolph-Macon
Sun Dec 02
Final
74 Lynchburg
62 at Shenandoah
Wed Dec 05
Final
54 Randolph
80 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 08
Final
73 Va. Wesleyan
55 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
2:00 PM
Chris. Newport
Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic
Sun Dec 30
4:00 PM
Meredith
Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic
Sat Jan 05
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at East. Mennonite
Mon Jan 07
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee
Lynchburg
Wed Jan 09
7:00 PM
Hollins
Lynchburg
Sat Jan 12
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Emory & Henry
Wed Jan 16
7:00 PM
Guilford
Lynchburg
Sat Jan 19
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Bridgewater (Va.)
Wed Jan 23
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Randolph
Sat Jan 26
2:00 PM
Roanoke
Lynchburg
Alumni Day
Wed Jan 30
7:00 PM
Emory & Henry
Lynchburg
No Event
No Event
View Full Schedule
No events to show.
No events to show.
No Event
No Event
No Event
Sun Oct 28
Final
0 Randolph
3 No. 10 Lynchburg
Game 4 - ODAC Quarterfinals
Sat Nov 03
Final
1 Bridgewater (Va.)
0 No. 10 Lynchburg
Game 7 - ODAC Semifinals
View Full Schedule
No Event
No Event
Sat Oct 27
Final
0 Ferrum
4 No. 15 Lynchburg
Senior Night
Wed Oct 31
Final - 2OT
1 Washington and Lee
2 No. 15 Lynchburg
Game 5 - ODAC Quarterfinals
Sat Nov 03
Final
5 No. 16 Lynchburg
1 vs. Randolph-Macon
@ Bridgewater, Va. Game 7 - ODAC Semifinals
Sun Nov 04
Final
0 Va. Wesleyan
3 vs. No. 16 Lynchburg
@ Bridgewater, Va. Game 8 - ODAC Championship
Sat Nov 10
Final
1 Piedmont
2 No. 17 Lynchburg
NCAA Division III Tournament - First Round
Sun Nov 11
Final
0 No. 22 Emory
2 No. 17 Lynchburg
NCAA Division III Tournament - Second Round
Fri Nov 16
Final - PK Away
2 No. 17 Lynchburg
2 vs. No. 2 Messiah
@ Newport News, Va. NCAA Division III Tournament - Third Round
Sat Nov 17
Final
0 No. 17 Lynchburg
1 at No. 8 Chris. Newport
NCAA Division III Tournament - Quarterfinals
View Full Schedule