Strong second half carries VWC to win over DeSales
VIRGINIA BEACH -- It was probably not the most memorable halftime speech delivered by Virginia Wesleyan College head women's soccer coach Jeff Bowers, but it was definitely effective.
The details of that speech remain team business only, but the gist of it was something like "get your act together....now."
Whatever the exact wordage might of been was not as important as the result, as the Marlins returned to Foster Field at the Trinder Center to dominate DeSales University's Bulldogs en route to a 3-0 non-conference season opening win in Saturday's second game of the Orthopaedic Associates of Virginia Classic.
Minnesota's College of St. Benedict emerged as a 3-2 winner over Christopher Newport University in the first game. The Blazers scored the game winner with 49 seconds remaining, only seven seconds after CNU tallied the game-tying goal.
All four teams return to competition on Sunday, Sept. 4, at the Trinder Center, where CNU takes on DeSales at 1 p.m. VWC and St. Benedict square off at 3 p.m.
Virginia Wesleyan's level of play increased notably in the second half against DeSales, a team which opened the season with a 8-0 win over Cedar Crest College. The Marlins applied steady pressure, launching 16 shots and holding DeSales to just one. The Marlins finished with a 22-4 shot advantage overall.
Junior Jessica Edelman (Voorhees, N.J./Eastern Regional) ended the scoreless standoff in the 61st minute, firing a shot in from about 20 yards out into the let side. Her shot was assisted by rookie Marta Deptula (Haskell, N.J./Paramus Catholic).
Sophomore Nicole Martinez (Fredericksburg, Va./Chancellor) produced the most crowd-pleasing shot of the competition however, when she boomed the ball from about 30 yards out into the right side of the net in the 73rd minute.
VWC put the final touches on the scoring in the 76th minute when junior Krista Witmer (Lancaster, Pa./Millersville) headed the ball into the left side off a corner kick by senior Kristyn Anselmo (Kinnelon, N.J./Kinnelon).
Sophomore goalie Erica Keil (Wayne, N.J./DePaul Catholic) protected the VWC net for a little more than 80 minutes and produced two saves. Senior Bethany Bayles (Manassas, Va./Osbourn Park) finished in front of the net for the Marlins. Melissa Millili (Deptford, N.J./Gloucester Catholic) recorded a save in 45 minutes for DeSales, and Michelle Churchman (Wharton, N.J./Morris Hills) had two in the second half.