By Tommy Keeler Jr.
Last weekend was a big one for Brian Cornell (Warren County '10) and his Virginia Wesleyan teammates as they advanced to the NCAA men's soccer tournament. However, it was even more special for Cornell and his family.
Cornell helped lead the Marlins to the Old Dominion Athletic Conference title in Lynchburg on Nov. 9 by defeating Randolph College, which featured his brother, Nick (Warren County '10).
The Marlins won 2-1 in overtime on Brian Cornell's game-winning goal. The goal came on a penalty kick. Brian Cornell took three shots in the game, including two on goal.
Virginia Wesleyan went on to lose, 3-1, to Carnegie Mellon on Nov. 16 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Pittsburgh. Brian Cornell had the Marlins' only goal.
For the season, Brian Cornell led the Marlins with 11 goals and seven assists. The team went 16-5-1. Cornell also led the team in points (29) and shots (63).
Virginia Wesleyan was the No. 2 seed for the tournament, while Randolph College was the top seed.
Nick Cornell finished the season with one goal and eight assists, which was second on the team.
Randolph College finished the season 17-2-1, including 10-1 in the ODAC.
REGION CHAMP: Iowa State's Crystal Nelson (Millbrook '12) added to her impressive sophomore season as she won the NCAA Division I Midwest Regional race held at Iowa State on Nov. 15.
Nelson won the race in a time of 20:12.6 and helped the Cyclones win the regional title. The Cyclones finished with 39 points, 20 points ahead of Minnesota. They will run in the NCAA Championships on Saturday in Terre Haute, Ind.
It was Nelson's fourth straight top-10 finish.
On Nov. 2, Nelson finished second in the Big 12 Championships in Waco, Texas. She finished the race in a time of 19:49. The Cyclones won the Big 12 title with 35 points, 69 points ahead of second-place West Virginia University.
PLAYOFF TIME: Shepherd University (W.Va.) will play in the Division II playoffs starting on Nov. 30, and several local players have played key roles in the Rams' success.
Quarterback Trae Tinsman (James Wood '11) has thrown for 890 yards on 68 for 116 passing. The junior has eight touchdowns and just two interceptions.
Defensive back David Carter (Handley '11 ) has two interceptions and has 19 tackles for the Rams.
Wide receiver Dalton Boyd (Sherando '11) has three receptions for 40 yards and one touchdown.
Shepherd is ranked sixth in the AFCA Division II Coaches' Poll. The Rams finished the regular season 10-0 and defeated Concord (W.Va.), 41-33, last weekend to win the inaugural Mountain East Conference title.
The Rams are averaging 39.3 points per game, and allowing only 13.3 per game. They will host the winner of the Slippery Rock-Winston Salem State game on Nov. 30 at noon.
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd