HARRISONBURG, Va. – Bridgewater's Sawyer Janes scored with just 22 seconds left in regulation Tuesday night to lift the Eagles to a 2-1 victory over rival Eastern Mennonite in front of a huge crowd at the EMU Turf Field.
The victory puts the Eagles all alone in first place in the conference standings for at least the next day. BC, EMU, Washington and Lee and Roanoke were all tied atop the standings entering Tuesday's play with 3-1 conference records. The Eagles are now all alone at 4-1 while W&L and Roanoke swing back into action Wednesday when W&L travels to Shenandoah and Roanoke plays at Lynchburg.
The first half was evenly played with the Royals holding a slim 9-8 edge in shots.
The only goal in the first half was scored in the 29th minute when Bridgewater's Kevin Gorman sent a through ball to Janes who raced past and EMU defender and touched the ball past a charging EMU keeper in a 1-on-1 situation. The ball rolled into the net, putting Bridgewater on top, 1-0.
The Eagles maintained the 1-0 lead as the teams continued to battle on even terms throughout the second half.
EMU just missed a chance to tie in the 78th minute when David Hooley sent a shot from the left side from 25 yards out toward the far post. Bridgewater goalie TJ Martin made a lunging save and punched the ball away to turn away the Royals potential tying shot.
The Royals finally scored the equalizer in the 88th minute by taking advantage of a corner kick. The Royals played a short corner and Caleb Golladay scored on a long shot from the right side to tie the score at 1-1.
With the game headed toward overtime, Ryan Tavernaris lofted a pass ahead to Janes who had a great run down the middle of the field. Janes booted the ball over the EMU keeper from 20 yards away for the game-winning goal with just 22 ticks left on the clock, giving BC the key conference victory.
The Royals held a slim 19-17 edge in shots and a 5-3 margin in corner kicks.
Martin finished the contest with five saves while EMU goalie Andrew Yoder recorded four saves.
The Eagles return to action Sunday afternoon when they host Guilford in ODAC action. Game time is set for 2:00 p.m.