After losing 2–0 to top-ranked Virginia on Thursday for its first loss of the season, Virginia Tech couldn’t bounce back against another top 10 divisional foe in the Clemson Tigers. Tech’s 3–1 loss at Clemson was just its second loss in as many games after starting the season on a nine-game winning streak.
The No. 9 Tigers were in need of a statement win like the Hokies after they got outplayed by No. 6 Florida State on Thursday 2–1. They got exactly that by scoring the first three goals of the game, two of which were just three minutes apart in the second half, to make sure the Hokies were never within reach to grab a road victory.
Freshman Caroline Conti started off the scoring for Clemson with a rebound off a shot by fellow-freshman Hal Hershfelt in the eighth minute. Goalkeeper Mandy McGlynn was able to stop Hershfelt’s strike, but Conti was well-positioned for what would end up being her second goal of the season.
The rest of the half was scoreless, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying. The Tigers outshot the Hokies 15–2 in the first half and consistently held possession of the ball in the attacking half. That domination didn’t stop after the break as Clemson outshot Tech 11–3 in the second half.
It wasn’t until the 60th minute that Clemson scored its second goal, another rebounded finish courtesy of freshman Maliah Morris. That score was followed by another just three minutes later to triple the Tigers’ lead. Junior Kimber Haley’s 25-yard goal would be the finishing blow to Tech’s chances at coming back.
Tech did manage to find the back of the net late in the game when Nicole Kozlova was awarded a penalty kick after Jordan Hemmen was fouled inside the box. It was Kozlova’s fifth goal of the season, the most on the team this season.
It was a tough match for the Hokies all-around, though McGlynn showed why she’s one of the best goalkeepers in the ACC, tying her career-high with 11 saves during the game. The last time she recorded that many was against Notre Dame in 2018.
The Hokies will get some much-needed rest this coming week after facing two top 10 opponents. Their next two games will be no easier, though, as they take on No. 10 Duke in Blacksburg on Sunday at 2 p.m. and then No. 6 Florida State on Oct. 10. Tech was shut out by both teams when they played them last season. Clemson will have its hands full with No. 4 North Carolina when they play on Oct. 5 at 5 p.m. in Chapel Hill.