Behind goal from Cheatham and saves by Lien, Christopher Newport wins
LYNCHBURG, Va. -- Behind an acrobatic goal by Lauren Cheatham and a stellar defensive showing by Bailey Lien, No. 9 Christopher Newport topped No. 13 Lynchburg, 1-0, during a non-conference showdown on Friday evening at Shellenberger Field.
Cheatham, who scored three times last weekend, continued her offensive surge with the clincher in the second half on Friday. That goal was all Lien, a freshman, needed to pick up the win as she headlined a sensational defensive effort on the way to her first career shutout. With the victory, the Captains stand at 3-0 on the year, while the Hornets sit at 1-2.
Following a scoreless first half, Christopher Newport came out strong after the break. Showing off its relentless assault, the Captains fired three consecutive shots but every chance was turned away. Later, a Lynchburg infraction led to a CNU penalty stroke, but Jordan Seeley pushed aside Jordan Snider's attempt to keep the game scoreless.
After the Hornets regrouped for a moment and made a decent run that culminated in a blocked shot, CNU came through with a beautiful series to open the scoring. Following a timeout, the visitors stormed down the field at the 48-minute mark. Belle Tunstall took control of the ball and charged toward the zone.
After Tunstall drew some contact, Marlene Lichty took the free hit and fired toward the corner of the cage. Cheatham, who staked out a position on the far post, made a spectacular diving stab to redirect the shot and find an opening for the game's first goal.
Christopher Newport attempted to pad its lead with three more shots during the next seven minutes, but Lynchburg withstood the onslaught. From that point on, the Hornets set the pace and continued to pressure the CNU defense looking for the tying goal.
During a 16-second run in the middle of the half, the hosts fired three shots, including two on goal but Lien swatted away both attempts. Later, Chelsea Hines swooped in and made a crucial save to clean up after another Lynchburg surge.
Less than seven minutes before the end of regulation, the Hornets earned their final scoring opportunity with a penalty stroke. Lynchburg's Nicole Marburger took the free shot and rocketed a dart toward the near post. In a flash, CNU's freshman keeper sprawled out and made a diving stop to keep the Hornets off the board and seal the 1-0 victory.
Overall, Lien made five saves for CNU, while Seeley matched that effort for Lynchburg. The Hornets held a 17-13 edge in shots and a slim 6-4 lead in corners.
Before Christopher Newport pulled out the victory, the two teams engaged in a back-and-forth affair during the opening period. Early on, both squads struggled to find their footing. Although CNU earned a pair of corners during the first 11 minutes, neither squad was able to orchestrate a solid scoring opportunity. Following the quiet period, the Captains pieced together two consecutive shots, but Lynchburg's Melanie Tenney came through with a solid defensive save to stifle the first chance before Seeley stymied the second.
After overcoming CNU's early surge, Lynchburg's attack responded with an imposing run during the final 22 minutes of the half. During that stretch, the Hornets unfurled 10 consecutive shots, but Christopher Newport refused to break. The defense cut off a few attempts before Lien stoned the first one on goal. Later, after two more chances scooted wide, Lien shut down the host's final opportunity to keep the game scoreless and set up her second half heroics.