On a windy Saturday afternoon the men's soccer team made its way onto Bridgewater's campus anxious to improve on its current three game win streak. On a beautiful natural field the ref signaled for the start of the match with both teams trying to find their collective feet during the first few minutes.
It was not long, though, before Bridgewater's goalkeeper was collecting the ball from the back of his net as Gregorio Carnovale sprinted down the right wing and sent a delightful cross onto the foot of Ethan Byrd who made no mistake in finding the top right hand corner. A mere five minutes later the Quakers went up again thanks to a brilliant strike from the golden-footed Richard Page.
After Jordan Alexander forced a corner, Freddy Gomez quickly took advantage of Bridgewater's defensive disorganization and slipped a short corner to Page who sent a ferocious shot far post, leaving the opposing keeper on the ground and confused.
With a two goal lead the Quakers began to find their rhythm, looking the far more dangerous of the two teams. The Eagles were able to scrape together a few chances, but nothing more than the occasional long-range shot. In the 25th minute Jordan Alexander made sure to squash any remaining hopes for Bridgewater.
Once again the tireless Gregorio Carnovale was involved as he ran down the flank, cutting the ball back at the end line for Jordan who, drawing upon his predatorial instincts, buried the ball in the back of the net. Jordan celebrated his goal by running to the sideline and embracing recently injured Ronnie Castellanos, showing the immense camaraderie of this year's team.
Three goals up Coach Bateson then showed unyielding confidence in his team by subbing all ten field players at once. Despite the subs, the tempo hardly changed. Guilford maintained a tight grip on the game, even scoring a fourth thanks to a cool finish by freshmen Josh Berry who benefited from assist master, Keirith Pinnock.
Half Time. Guilford 4, Bridgewater 0
The second half started in a very different fashion than the first and showed that in the ODAC nothing is predictable and no game can be taken for granted. Bridgewater pressured the Quakers who seemed to the think the game ended after the first 45.
After fifteen minutes Bridgewater scored with a superb strike from 20 yards out. The Eagles continued to push forward and should have scored a second were it not for Tamer El-Amor. Tamer took a lesson from Mr. Myagi and produced a flying karate-like kick to clear the ball from the goal line.
The second half continued much in the same fashion with Guilford lacking a certain spark but still managing to keep the ball out of the net. The game ended 4-1 and Guilford moved up to third in the ODAC, a position they haven't held in nearly a decade. Next up is second-place Roanoke and the chance to show the rest of the ODAC that this year's team is hardly an anomaly.
-Hugh Griffis, Jr