College Women’s Soccer Final – #20 Va. Wesleyan 2, Guilford 1

GREENSBORO, N.C. (10-19-08) – Jerilyn Sweeney’s goal with 15:15 left in regulation lifted visiting Virginia Wesleyan College to a 2-1 Old Dominion Athletic Conference soccer win at Guilford College Sunday.

The Marlins are rated 20th in this week’s adidas/National Soccer Coaches Association of America NCAA Division III National Rankings.

Sweeney beat Guilford goalie Amber Stapler to a loose ball in the penalty area and knocked it by the Quakers’ keeper. The goal helped Virginia Wesleyan (10-1-3, 8-0-1 ODAC) keep first place in the league standings and extend its unbeaten streak to 11 matches.

The Marlins’ defense yielded few chances and allowed only one Guilford shot in the second half. Guilford (7-9, 5-3 ODAC) threatened in the 85th minute by knocking a ball free from goalie Allison Lennox, but the Quakers could not get a quality shot before the Marlins’ cleared the zone.

Virginia Wesleyan opened the scoring in the seventh minute when Courtney Whorten scored into an empty net after Stapler gave chase to a ball far from the cage. The Marlins nearly doubled their advantage, but Stacy Zeiler’s penalty kick in the 15th minute went wide.

Guilford tied the match in the 23rd minute on a well-placed header by Jada Daniel off a Jackie D’Orsaneo free kick 35 yards from the goal. The goal marked the first allowed by Virginia Wesleyan in eight matches and just the fifth score yielded all season.

The Marlins outshot Guilford, 26-8, and held a 5-1 edge in corner kicks. Stapler made a game-high nine saves for Guilford. Lennox finished with five stops. The physical match featured 24 fouls and one caution.

Guilford bids for its sixth win in eight matches Wednesday (10/22) versus league-rival Roanoke College. Virginia Wesleyan hosts Hollins University Saturday (10/25) in a 7:00 ODAC match.