After finishing the regular season with a record of 8–5–2 (2–4–2), the Virginia Tech men’s soccer team beat Louisville 2–0 in the first round of the ACC Tournament on Wednesday. The Hokies will advance to the quarterfinals and play against the three-seeded Wake Forest Demon Deacons on Sunday.
Despite having a strong regular season record, the Hokies entered the ACC Tournament as the No. 11 seed. The Cardinals tallied an 8–6–2 (3–4–1) record in the regular season and came into the tournament as the No. 6 seed. Since Louisville was the higher seed entering the match, the Cardinals hosted the Hokies at Dr. Mark & Cindy Lynn Stadium in Louisville, Kentucky.
The first half was an even bout as Virginia Tech and Louisville fought to gain an advantage in the first postseason match of the season.
Goalkeeper Mathijs Swaneveld made two big saves within the first five minutes as the Cardinals came out to a more aggressive start. However, the first 40 minutes of the first half were still a 0–0 stalemate.
In the 43rd minute, freshman midfielder Daniel Pereira drew a foul that set up a free kick from just outside of the box. Senior defender Jon Ingason ripped the free kick into the side of the goal to give Tech a 1–0 advantage.
Just minutes later, Pereira was back at it; the Roanoke native earned another free kick from just outside the box. With only seconds left in the first half, Pereira bent the ball into the side of the goal on a beautiful strike that extended the lead to 2–0.
The Hokies went into halftime having outshot the Cardinals seven to five. While a 2–0 advantage may lure a team into stepping off the gas pedal, the Hokies came out firing in the second half as well.
Tech outshot Louisville five to two throughout the first 35 minutes of the second half. The Cardinals put together a late-game rally and had several chances to score, but Swaneveld and the Hokies held the 2–0 lead through the final whistle.
The Hokies will have three days off before traveling to Winston-Salem for the quarterfinal matchup against Wake Forest. The Demon Deacons are the No. 3 seed in the ACC Tournament and have a 13–3–1 (6–2–0) record on the season. Game time is set for 5 p.m. on Sunday with WatchESPN airing the coverage online.