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
No Event
Wed Dec 05
Final
54 Randolph
80 Lynchburg
Wed Dec 05
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
82 at Guilford
Sat Dec 08
Final
73 Va. Wesleyan
55 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 08
Final
78 No. 22 Lynchburg
76 at Methodist
Sun Dec 16
Final
59 McDaniel
83 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
Final
74 No. 16 Chris. Newport
65 at Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 1
Sat Dec 29
Final
75 Lynchburg
66 vs. Muskingum
@ Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. Guilford Classic
Sat Dec 29
Final
54 Meredith
70 vs. Emory & Henry
@ Lynchburg, Va. Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 2
Sun Dec 30
Final
76 Emory & Henry
56 at No. 16 Chris. Newport
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 3
Sun Dec 30
Final
74 Greensboro
82 vs. Lynchburg
@ Greensboro, N.C. (Ragan-Brown) Guilford Classic
Sun Dec 30
Final
50 Meredith
69 at Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 4
Tue Jan 01
Final
73 Averett
87 Lynchburg
Sat Jan 05
Final
42 Lynchburg
53 at East. Mennonite
Sat Jan 05
Final
89 Lynchburg
75 at Shenandoah
Mon Jan 07
Final
69 Washington and Lee
75 Lynchburg
Wed Jan 09
Final
50 Hollins
66 Lynchburg
Wed Jan 09
Final
87 No. 22 Lynchburg
73 at Emory & Henry
Sat Jan 12
Final
59 Lynchburg
63 at No. 21 Emory & Henry
Sat Jan 12
Final
66 Va. Wesleyan
68 No. 22 Lynchburg
Wed Jan 16
Final
76 Guilford
85 Lynchburg
Thu Jan 17
Final
82 No. 17 Lynchburg
79 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
Final
77 Lynchburg
68 at Bridgewater (Va.)
Sat Jan 19
Final - OT
78 No. 17 Lynchburg
66 at East. Mennonite
Wed Jan 23
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Randolph
Wed Jan 23
7:00 PM
Guilford
No. 14 Lynchburg
Track Suits & Sneakers Game
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
No. 12 Randolph-Macon
No. 14 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
Sat Feb 02
vs. Vince Brown Invitational
@ Christopher Newport University, Newport News, Va.
Sat Feb 02
2:00 PM
Bridgewater (Va.)
Lynchburg
Wed Feb 06
5:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Wed Feb 06
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Fri Feb 08
vs. VMI Winter Relays
@ Lexington, Va.
Fri Feb 08
1 p.m.
Texas Christian
Lynchburg
Sat Feb 09
vs. VMI Winter Relays
@ Lexington, Va.
Sat Feb 09
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Sat Feb 09
1:00 PM
Salisbury
Lynchburg
Sat Feb 09
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Sat Feb 09
3:00 PM
East. Mennonite
Lynchburg
Play4Kay Game
Sat Feb 09
5:30 PM
Shenandoah
Lynchburg
Senior Day
Sun Feb 10
at Randolph IHSA
Wed Feb 13
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Wed Feb 13
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Hampden-Sydney
Fri Feb 15
vs. Virginia Tech Challenge
@ Blacksburg, Va.
Sat Feb 16
vs. Virginia Tech Challenge
@ Blacksburg, Va.
Sat Feb 16
at Bridgewater IHSA
Sat Feb 16
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Franklin & Marshall
Sat Feb 16
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Sat Feb 16
2:00 PM
Shenandoah
Lynchburg
Senior Day | CODE RED Game
Sat Feb 16
4:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Sun Feb 17
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Wed Feb 20
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Averett
Fri Feb 22
2:00 PM
Ferrum
Lynchburg
Sat Feb 23
at Hollins IHSA
Sat Feb 23
9:30 AM
Olivet
vs. Lynchburg
@ Cary, N.C. Grand Slam Triangle Classic
Sat Feb 23
11:00 AM
Lynchburg
vs. Penn St.-Behrend
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sat Feb 23
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Mary Washington
Sat Feb 23
1:00 PM
Cabrini
Lynchburg
Sat Feb 23
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Sat Feb 23
5:00 PM
Rowan
vs. Lynchburg
@ Cary, N.C. Grand Slam Triangle Classic
Sat Feb 23
5:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Rutgers-Camden
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sun Feb 24
vs. ODAC Indoor Championships
@ Roanoke College, Salem, Va.
Sun Feb 24
10 a.m.
Lynchburg IHSA
Sun Feb 24
10:00 AM
Lynchburg
vs. Emory
@ Cary, N.C. William Peace Triangle Classic
Sun Feb 24
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Greensboro
@ Cary, N.C. Grand Slam Triangle Classic
Sun Feb 24
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Fri Mar 01
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Guilford
Sat Mar 02
vs. Roanoke Last Chance Qualifier
@ Salem, Va.
Sat Mar 02
10:00 AM
St. Mary's (Md.)
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
10:00 AM
St. Mary's (Md.)
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
12:00 PM
Geneva
Lynchburg
Suicide Awareness Day
Sat Mar 02
12:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at York (Pa.)
One Love Foundation Game
Sat Mar 02
1:00 PM
Frostburg St.
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
2:00 PM
Guilford
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
2:00 PM
Geneva
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
3:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Sun Mar 03
12:00 PM
York (Pa.)
Lynchburg
Sun Mar 03
12:00 PM
York (Pa.)
Lynchburg
Sun Mar 03
1:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Mon Mar 04
Hill City Invitational, Boonsboro CC, Lynchburg, Va. -- Day 1
Tue Mar 05
Hill City Invitational, Boonsboro CC, Lynchburg, Va. -- Day 2
Tue Mar 05
2:00 PM
Salem
Lynchburg
Tue Mar 05
2:00 PM
William Peace
Lynchburg
Tue Mar 05
3:00 PM
William Peace
Lynchburg
Tue Mar 05
4:00 PM
Salem
Lynchburg
Wed Mar 06
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at William Peace
Wed Mar 06
4:00 PM
Gwynedd Mercy
Lynchburg
Fri Mar 08
vs. NCAA Division III Indoor Championships
@ Boston, Mass.
Fri Mar 08
vs. UNCW Seahawk Invitational
@ Wilmington, N.C.
Fri Mar 08
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Salem
Sat Mar 09
vs. NCAA Division III Indoor Championships
@ Boston, Mass.
Sat Mar 09
vs. UNCW Seahawk Invitational
@ Wilmington, N.C.
Sat Mar 09
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sat Mar 09
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sat Mar 09
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. TCNJ
@ Salisbury, Md. Salisbury Invitational
Sat Mar 09
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Sat Mar 09
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Bridgewater (Va.)
Sat Mar 09
1:00 PM
Columbia (S.C.)
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 09
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. TCNJ
@ Salisbury, Md. Salisbury Invitational
Sat Mar 09
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Sun Mar 10
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sun Mar 10
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. Gordon
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Sun Mar 10
12:00 PM
Cortland
vs. Lynchburg
@ Salisbury, Md. Salisbury Invitational
Sun Mar 10
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Elizabethtown
@ U.S. Lacrosse Hall of Fame, Sparks, Md.
Sun Mar 10
2:00 PM
Cortland
vs. Lynchburg
@ Salisbury, Md. Salisbury Invitational
Mon Mar 11
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Mon Mar 11
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Mon Mar 11
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Salisbury
Mon Mar 11
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Salisbury
Tue Mar 12
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. Milligan
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Tue Mar 12
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. Milligan
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Tue Mar 12
10:00 AM
Lynchburg
vs. Swarthmore
@ Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex, Clearwater, Fla.
Tue Mar 12
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Mary Washington
Wed Mar 13
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Wed Mar 13
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. TBA
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Thu Mar 14
vs. Alan Connie Shamrock Invitational
@ Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Thu Mar 14
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. Mount Union
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Thu Mar 14
TBA
Lynchburg
vs. Mount Union
@ Hilton Head Invitational, Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Thu Mar 14
2:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Chris. Newport
Thu Mar 14
4:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Chris. Newport
Thu Mar 14
7:00 PM
Meredith
vs. Lynchburg
@ Joe DiMaggio Sports Complex, Clearwater, Fla.
No Event
View Full Schedule
Sat Feb 16
1:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Sat Feb 16
4:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Sun Feb 17
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Maryville (Tenn.)
Wed Feb 20
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Averett
Sat Feb 23
11:00 AM
Lynchburg
vs. Penn St.-Behrend
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sat Feb 23
5:00 PM
Lynchburg
vs. Rutgers-Camden
@ Fayetteville, N.C. Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sun Feb 24
2:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Methodist
Armstrong/Diamond Invitational
Sat Mar 02
12:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Sat Mar 02
3:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Sun Mar 03
1:00 PM
Penn St.-Harrisburg
Lynchburg
Tue Mar 05
2:00 PM
William Peace
Lynchburg
Wed Mar 06
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at William Peace
Sat Mar 09
12:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Sat Mar 09
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Washington and Lee
Tue Mar 12
3:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Mary Washington
View Full Schedule
No Event
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
Final
59 McDaniel
83 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
Final
75 Lynchburg
66 vs. Muskingum
@ Guilford College, Greensboro, N.C. Guilford Classic
Sun Dec 30
Final
74 Greensboro
82 vs. Lynchburg
@ Greensboro, N.C. (Ragan-Brown) Guilford Classic
Tue Jan 01
Final
73 Averett
87 Lynchburg
Sat Jan 05
Final
89 Lynchburg
75 at Shenandoah
Wed Jan 09
Final
87 No. 22 Lynchburg
73 at Emory & Henry
Sat Jan 12
Final
66 Va. Wesleyan
68 No. 22 Lynchburg
Thu Jan 17
Final
82 No. 17 Lynchburg
79 at Washington and Lee
Sat Jan 19
Final - OT
78 No. 17 Lynchburg
66 at East. Mennonite
Wed Jan 23
7:00 PM
Guilford
No. 14 Lynchburg
Track Suits & Sneakers Game
Sat Jan 26
4:30 PM
No. 12 Randolph-Macon
No. 14 Lynchburg
Alumni Day/Coaches vs. Cancer Week
Wed Jan 30
7:30 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Sat Feb 02
2:00 PM
Bridgewater (Va.)
Lynchburg
Wed Feb 06
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Sat Feb 09
5:30 PM
Shenandoah
Lynchburg
Senior Day
Wed Feb 13
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Hampden-Sydney
No Event
View Full Schedule
No Event
No Event
Wed Dec 05
Final
54 Randolph
80 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 08
Final
73 Va. Wesleyan
55 Lynchburg
Sat Dec 29
Final
74 No. 16 Chris. Newport
65 Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 1
Sun Dec 30
Final
50 Meredith
69 Lynchburg
Lynchburg Holiday Classic -- Game 4
Sat Jan 05
Final
42 Lynchburg
53 at East. Mennonite
Mon Jan 07
Final
69 Washington and Lee
75 Lynchburg
Wed Jan 09
Final
50 Hollins
66 Lynchburg
Sat Jan 12
Final
59 Lynchburg
63 at No. 21 Emory & Henry
Wed Jan 16
Final
76 Guilford
85 Lynchburg
Sat Jan 19
Final
77 Lynchburg
68 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
Wed Feb 06
5:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Ferrum
Sat Feb 09
3:00 PM
East. Mennonite
Lynchburg
Play4Kay Game
Wed Feb 13
7:00 PM
Lynchburg
at Roanoke
Sat Feb 16
2:00 PM
Shenandoah
Lynchburg
Senior Day | CODE RED Game
No Event
View Full Schedule
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