Everyone loves a good story. A happy ending. Heroes who prevail when tested and fight to the finish on the battle field. Characters who skill dazzle us and whose conduct is honorable. They are protagonists of valor whose stories we admire and people we aspire to be. While the story of Lynchburg is not found in the pages of Grimms’ Fairy tales, it is a story worth reading. A story about a team of heroines who played their best, overcome obstacles in their path, and cruised to a win at the National Championship.
The story begins in the not too distant past when a team named Lynchburg stepped onto the scene in August ranking No. 18 in the NSCAA Pre-Season poll. The four-time defending Old Dominion Athletic Conference champion climbed upward as they earned a 3-0 score over Southern Virginia in their first game of the season. The Hornets then gained a 6-0 victory over Averett and caused a commotion when they won over fifth ranking John Hopkins.
In September the upward climb continued as the Hornets dynamic forward duo Angela Bosko and Dessi Dupuy emerged winning both Franklin & Marshall and Bridgewater. Never loosing a ODAC game in her career, Dupuy set a record in the ODAC opener scoring 5-1 (a record for the hometown player). In the next game, Bosko would earn a total of four goals gaining a win against Emory & Henry. The two were able to lay the foundation for the Hornets early in the season and earned the title of top goal scorers.
As the Hornets won many games in September, the Hornets continued the streak winning Randolph 10-1 as a team effort from Angela Bosko, Kelley Smith, Samantha Bagherpour, Hannah Olds, Morgan Singer, Emily Maxwell, Sarah Schrader, and Dessi Dupuy. The Hornets then won Shenandoah 5-0 with Morgan Singer at the forefront scoring two goals. Tess Frelick also created memorable saves while midfielder Jade Woll became one to watch in her ability to assist and gain wins. Lynchburg then closed out the season at the No. 2 spot with a 10-0 victory over Hollins University where players like Marina Clark, Jenn Snyder, and Kelly Smith shined.
Then in the ODAC Women’s Soccer Tournament Quarterfinal match-up, Dupuy reached a 100th career goal becoming the 15th woman to post triple-digit goals in NCAA Division III history. Likewise Bosko became the first woman’s LC soccer player to score six times in a game, gained a record for points, and also set two season-high marks. Singer than lead the Hornets to the ODAC Championship game with a overtime kick. Heading the game against Washington and Lee, Dupuy lifted the Hornets to its fifth straight ODAC Title. With a victory over Washington and Lee, everything changed as Lynchburg entered the NCAA Tournament.
Taking several shots and having a 7-0 advantage in corner kicks, Frelick made her 9th shoutout of the season in the first round against Salem. Gaining her fist winning goal at the tournament, Kara Schaffer was able to score in the second half helping to advance the Hornets to the second round.
Dana Nelsen later helped Kelley Smith earn a header in the second round that was the second goal of the game after Bosko. Dupuy also took six shots while Frelick earned three saves. Additionally, Bagherpour was able to connect off a 30-yard shot from Smith that lead the Hornets to a 4-0 leading score moving them to the Sweet Sixteen.
Scoring her 104th and 105th career goals in one game, Dupuy led the Hornets to the Elite Eight position when they played Montclair University in the third round. Bosko was also able to gain six saves and two assists while Tess Frelick earned one save.
After their beloved teammate (Bosko) was unable to play due to an injury, Lynchburg played with all their heart to earn a win for their friend. This was made possible when Jenn Snyder scored in the second half and Lynchburg advanced to the Final Four on penalty kicks. With all the teammates in unity, Clark was ale to earn one assist, Woll earn four assists, and Frelick five saves – a memorable game for the Hornets as they won Messiah in the quarterfinals.
Things heated up as Angela Bosco got back in the game at the semifinals against equally skilled Ill Wesleyan. Maxwell played good defense while Smith was able to lock in the final goal that sent the Hornets to the Championship.
In their final game of the postseason, the Hornets played their best in 110 minutes of an outstanding duel against a tough contender, Williams College. Going double overtime and ending scoreless, Lynchburg was able to earn four penalty kicks that prevailed in a first-ever national championship for the heroines of the season.
With a No. 1 ranking and a unique winning streak, Lynchburg’s tale was one that ended as they say in fairy tales, “Happily Ever After.”