Second-half burst leads Generals to 4-1 ODAC win over Virginia Wesleyan

Jack Miller

LEXINGTON, Va. – Four second-half goals powered the Washington and Lee men's soccer team to an ODAC-opening 4-1 victory over Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday afternoon. 

Trailing, 1-0, in the second half, the Generals (3-3, 1-0 ODAC) got on the board and tied the game when senior midfielder Viktor Dolberg (Clovis, Calif./Floyd B. Buchanan) sent a long pass that cut through the Marlins' defense and found senior midfielder Dylan Ritch (Mint Hill, N.C./Independence) one-on-one with the keeper inside the box. Ritch finished off the opportunity to the keeper's left for his first goal of the season. 

Ritch then gave W&L its first lead of the game when, in the 63rd minute, he dribbled from the sideline, past and around multiple Virginia Wesleyan defenders and found room inside the right post for his second score of the contest. Six minutes later, senior defender Jack Miller (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) found himself with the ball about 10 yards from the goal box. He passed to Ritch and cut towards the goal as Ritch gave it right back to Miller who buried his first career goal inside the right post to put W&L up 3-1.

Sophomore midfielder Danny Tran (Bethesda, Md./Walter Johnson) capped the scoring in the game in the 86th minute. Junior midfielder Kyce Darouiche (Houston, Texas/Strait Jesuit) took a corner kick and put the ball in the middle of the box. The Marlins' keeper punched the ball up into the air and out towards Tran who settled under the ball and fired a line-drive shot out of midair through the Virginia Wesleyan defense and past the keeper.

The Marlins' lone goal of the contest was scored on a penalty kick taken by junior midfielder Shaun Brooks in the 44th minute following a foul in the box.

With two goals and an assist to lead the Generals' offense, Ritch recorded his second-career five-point game, a feat he last accomplished on Sept. 24, 2016, with the same stat-line at Shenandoah. His assist on Miller's 69th minute score was his team-leading sixth of the season and made him just the third player in W&L history to reach the 20-career assists mark (Mike Mitchem '92, Patrick Brown '89). In addition, his six assists this season already ties his single-season career high. 

Senior midfielder Will Hamryka (Dawsonville, Ga./Greater Atlanta Christian) led the Generals with six shots in the game, two on goal, and narrowly missed scores of his own as three of his attempts hit the post or crossbar. Ritch came in next with four shots, all on target, while Dolberg shot three times and put all three attempts on goal.

First-year goalkeeper Michael Nyc (Kildeer, Ill/Adlai E. Stevenson) (2-1) earned his second straight win as he stopped two out of three shots in 90 minutes of action. Marlins' first-year keeper Griffin Potter (1-6) took the loss but made nine saves in the game.

Junior midfielder Harrison Weinfeld led the way for Virginia Wesleyan with three shots, the only Marlin with multiple shots in the game. 

As a team, the Generals outshot the Marlins, 23-8, including a 17-2 margin in the second half. W&L's defense played a strong second period as the Marlins' only two shots in the second half came inside the final two minutes of the game. The Generals also won the corner kick battle, taking 11 while conceding two.

W&L will get back on the pitch on Wednesday when they travel to face ODAC-foe Guilford in a 7:00 pm matchup.

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