KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- With a 2-1 win in the women’s Division III semifinal against Illinois Wesleyan, Lynchbug advanced to its first national championship game.
Lynchburg’s undefeated season was in jeopardy just 19 seconds into its match against Illinois Wesleyan, when Skyler Tomko’s goal from close range gave Illinois Wesleyan the lead.
That goal was the fastest Lynchburg had been scored on all year, but senior Angela Bosco turned the tide for Lynchburg with a goal fifteen minutes later.“That was a rude awakening, to get on the field and get scored on 19 seconds in,” Bosco said of her squad’s first few minutes. “We tend to come out flat sometimes. We had to adjust and to keep our composure.”
Lynchburg went undefeated in the regular season and powered through the tournament. Lynchburg only gave up two goals leading up to the semifinal.
Lynchburg head coach Todd Olsen was impressed by his team’s ability to pull out a win without a flawless performance.
“I don’t think we reacted very well [after being scored on]. I think we lost our composure a little bit and it took us a while to get a rhythm,” Olsen said. “We tend to be a rhythm team. It flustered us so much. Finally, we were able to find our rhythm in the second half.”
Olsen commended his team’s opponent for forcing Lynchburg into an ugly win.
“It was tough. It was an ugly win for us and all credit to Illinois Wesleyan,” he said. “They took away what we did well and never stopped playing hard. They played a terrific game.”
When Lynchburg did find its rhythm, things could only get better. Dessi Dupuy assisted a goal scored by Kelley Smith just under three minutes into the second half that would prove to be enough to send Lynchburg into the final.
Angela Bosco recorded her third goal in the tournament. She and Dupuy are Lynchburg’s top scorers, with 28 and 29 goals, respectively, in the regular season.
Bosco went out of Lynchburg’s third-round match against Montclair State with a knee injury and watched her teammates advance past Messiah in the quarterfinal by penalty shootout from the sidelines. She recovered to play in the semifinal today.
“It was really hard being in [the quarterfinal] on the sideline,” Bosco said. “I was happy that our team won that game and coming back from injury and having one more game, I knew I had to do everything I could do to get to the national championship when I came back.”
Olsen remarked that his team gained momentum from Bosco’s return in the late stages of the tournament.
“With Angela coming off a serious knee injury just a game ago, she was able to pop a goal in and that made us really excited,” Olsen said. This team has a lot of momentum. We can put on a really good show [Saturday].”