The Virginia Wesleyan men’s soccer team upset the nationally fourth-ranked Washington and Lee University on Oct. 19. The Marlins won the game 1-0 off of a goal from freshman defender Matthew Goldberg.
“It was an unbelievable feeling, being that that was my first ever college goal. After the goal I was praying the rest of the game that we wouldn’t get scored on,” Goldberg said.
Goldberg’s goal came off of an indirect free kick. Sophomore Matt Campbell took the free kick and landed it in perfect position for Goldberg to head it in during the 51’ of the second half. As Goldberg had the lone goal, Campbell had the lone assist on the contest. This was Campbell’s second assist of the season.
The Washington and Lee Generals began the game shooting as VWU sophomore goalie Griffin Potter logged a save within the first two minutes of play. Potter logged six saves on the game and earned another shutout, his second of the season.
While Goldberg’s goal came at a clutch time, the win was not possible without the dominant defensive performance.
“The goal definitely was exciting, but I think defensively as a whole the guys did a great job with it, helping each other out. If guys got beat there was always a second defender there or a third defender there, which was huge for us,” head coach Chris Mills said.
As a unit, the Marlins have shut out their opponents on 5 separate occasions, 4 of which were conference games.
In the game, since playing one of the top teams in the country, the Marlins defense played low pressure in order to contain the Generals offense. Resultedly, the Generals six shots were all well-defended by the defense.
Mills also wanted to clarify that despite Goldberg’s timely first goal of the season, he is also an important defensive asset.
“He’s done a great job just locking guys down, and when he’s getting in situations where he is the only defender he’s done a great job of just containing guys and winning the ball which has been huge for us, so as a freshman he’s done everything that we can ask for and even beyond that,” Mills said.
As the team concluded their regular season with a win at Bridgewater on Oct. 29, the team will qualify for the ODAC tournament. Overall the team is led in goals scored by sophomore Scott Signorelli with 8, while Potter has logged 73 saves on the year.
“I think seeing that we beat the number four team in the country, we realize we can beat anybody going forward. We are confident as a team that we can get into the ODAC tournament and make some noise the rest of the year,” Goldberg said.