Marlins Defense Holds Strong for 1-1 Draw with Lynchburg

Connor Kirkham made a career-high 14 saves Saturday night
Connor Kirkham made a career-high 14 saves Saturday night

Marlins Defense Holds Strong for 1-1 Draw with Lynchburg

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- Defense was the name of the game for the Virginia Wesleyan College men's soccer team in a 1-1 Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) draw with Lynchburg College on Saturday night.

Josh Kemp started the scoring for the Marlins when he was fouled in the box, resulting in the Marlins first penalty kick of the year. Kemp went one way while Hornet keeper Cory Budka went the other for the initial tally at the 11:05 mark.

Lynchburg answered at 17:52 when Matt Truslow took a corner kick from the far corner of the pitch and sent a ball into the box where Lynchburg's leading scorer, Fredy Flores, finished off the pass.

The Marlin defense locked down the rest of the way, holding the top scoring team in the ODAC (2.7 goals per match) without a score for the remaining 92:08.

What made the challenge even more daunting was the fact that Kemp was assessed a red card at 71:50, meaning VWC had to stop the strong offense of Lynchburg with one less player on the pitch.

The Hornets got a number of shots off after Kemp left the contest, but VWC keeper Connor Kirkham stopped attempt after attempt.

Kirkham made four of his career-high 14 saves in the two overtime periods. Budka saved two in overtime and four in the match for Lynchburg (6-2-3/2-1-2 ODAC).

Lynchburg held advantages in shots (28-10) and corners (9-1), but could not take advantage of Virginia Wesleyan's stout defense.

Virginia Wesleyan (4-3-2/1-1-2) hosts Shenandoah University (4-5-2/1-2-2) in a crucial ODAC match-up Monday at 6 p.m.