LEXINGTON, Va. - In a game that featured a three-hour lightning delay, VMI junior Sam Franklin took a corner cross from Taylor Callahan in the fourth minute of double overtime and snuck the ball past the American keeper to lift the Keydets to a 1-0 victory over the Eagles Saturday evening at Patchin Field.
The score lifted VMI to a 4-0 record to continue its best start in program history. American, who entered the contest with a 4-0-1 mark, drops to 4-1-1 as the Keydets handed the Eagles their first loss of the season.
"This was a chess match and both team wanted to win," said VMI head coach Chris Bergmann. "We played with a lot of energy despite having to reassess our plans following the lightning delay. Our legs were a little heavy but I loved the resilience and toughness that was shown by our team. American is a solid squad. We capitalized on our opportunity and Sam did a nice job of forcing her way into the mix to receive the ball."
The schools played a little under 10 minutes before lightning was spotted in the area and the field had to be evacuated due to NCAA public safety regulations. The teams and fans were allowed to return to Patchin Field at roughly 5 p.m. and the game was continued without any further problems.
Both squads exchanged shot attempts throughout the match but could not find the back of the net. The Keydets finished with 18 shots while the Eagles finished with 27.
VMI senior goalie Ceci Keppeler played a complete game, logging 103 minutes in the box and registering six saves including three in the second half as the Eagles tallied 16 shot attempts. She also endured an onslaught of American shot attempts in the first overtime period as the Eagles put up six shots to one for the Keydets.
The Keydets do not return to Patchin Field until September 21 to open conference play, but resume action next Friday, September 7, on the road at UNC Asheville. Kick is slated for a 7 p.m. start in Asheville, North Carolina.