The Brevard College men’s soccer team (12-6-3) recently concluded its most successful season in the school’s NCAA era with a 5-1 defeat to host Washington & Lee University (15-2-4) in the First Round of the NCAA Division III National Championships Tournament in Lexington, Virginia.
With the win, the 22nd ranked Generals advanced to the second round of the national tournament to face the winner of Muhlenberg and Case Western Reserve.
Brevard’s lone goal came from junior forward Ryan Lynch off an assist by freshman Will Finney in the match’s 46th minute. Washington & Lee scored twice in the first half, then exploded with three unanswered goals in the second stanza to secure the win.
The highly anticipated match began under cloudy skies after heavy rains on Friday softened the natural grass turf at Watt Field on the campus of Washington & Lee. Brevard began the match with a high-quality chance off the opening kickoff as BC midfielder Filipe Tchoulkov blasted a shot that was deflected by a General defender with just 17 seconds elapsed. A corner kick from Lynch followed as BC’s strikers attacked the W&L goal mouth, yet came up empty.
Just one minute later, WLU’s Michael Kutsanzira scored to give the Generals the initial lead. In the 13th minute, Grant McCarty followed with a goal to provide W&L with a 2-0 lead. Neither team scored in the final 37 minutes of the first half as the two squads headed to intermission.
Brevard came out of the intermission with a flurry as Finney found Lynch for a goal just seconds into the final half. It marked the 15th goal on the season for Lynch who earlier this season became BC’s all-time single-season and career leader in goals scored. For Finney, who was called up before the postseason to the varsity squad from the BC Reserves program, registered his first career assist and point for the Tornados.
With the deficit cut to 2-1 on the Lynch goal, the two teams battled early in the second half with just a one-goal differential between the two squads.
WLU then scored back-to-back goals by Weymi Agbeyegbe and Samuel Bass in a one minute, 46 second span to take a 4-1 lead. A goal in the 81st minute by Charley Colby gave the Generals the ultimate 5-1 final score.
Lynch led the team with two shots with both shots on goal in 90 minutes of play. In addition to Lynch and Tchoulkov, Brevard shots also came from Luis dos Santos, Caue dos Santos and Agustin Onetto.
In total, Washington & Lee attempted 28 shots compared to six by the Tornados. W&L goalkeeper Will Joseph played all 90 minutes to earn the win. Brevard’s Matheus Rossi started in goal and registered five saves including a pair of spectacular saves in the first half. Freshman Paul Bienefeld played the final 28 minutes, earning two saves for the Tornados. Freshman defender Lars Houtriet made a pair of goal-line blocks with his foot as well to further protect the net for the Tornados.
Brevard concludes the most historic season in the program’s NCAA-era history, with its first USA South Conference championship and a debut appearance in the NCAA Division III National Championship Tournament. In 2022, BC won its most single-season matches (12) in the NCAA era this year, while Lynch broke program records for single-season (15) and career (22) goals and points (35 this season, 51 career). Senior Sam O’Callaghan broke the single-season (eight) and career (15) NCAA-era records for assists, as Coach Helio D’Anna’s squad captured the program’s first conference title, and its second trophy in three seasons (Spring 2021 USA South West Division Championship).
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Prepared by Brevard College.