The Hokies win streak ended at four games Thursday as they fell 3-0 to the No. 11 Virginia Cavaliers to open Atlantic Coast Conference play.
For the second straight game, the Hokies found themselves down 2-0 in the second half. However, UVa proved to be more difficult than James Madison, and there was no comeback to be had.
The opening half started with breaks by both teams. Very little possession took place in the middle of the field, as both teams pushed the ball up the field as much as possible.
On the breaks that Tech was able to make, its best opportunities came on two different runs by Marika Gray, who got behind the defense twice, but couldn’t put the Hokies on the board.
In the 27th minute, UVa changed its personnel a bit, bringing in freshman forward Gloria Douglas to provide fresh legs for the Cavaliers attack.
The move paid off perfectly for the visiting team, as just four minutes later, Douglas was able to score her second goal of the season and give UVa the first lead of the game.
The goal was huge for the Cavs, as they have yet to lose a game this season when scoring a goal. That being said, the Hokies were still confident they could win at the half despite the 1-0 deficit.
“We went into the half down 1-0, and we talked to our team about how we were still in a great position and we probably had better looks than they did,” said Kelly Cagle, head coach.
Continuing on the attack in the second half, the Hokies were able to get a couple good looks at the goal. Unfortunately for Tech, Jazmine Reeves’ header sailed just over the crossbar, and Gray’s blistering shot was right at the goalie.
Gray’s shot in the 59th minute was the first shot on goal of the night for the Hokies despite having already attempted six kicks.
The ability to consistently get shots on goal has been an issue for the Hokies this season. Their average SOG percentage this year is currently .479 compared to opponents’ average of .607.
“I think [missing shots] does plague us at times,” Gray said. “I think it’s practice. You practice the way you play at game time. You have to keep working and doing those shooting drills using the big surfaces on the foot.”
While Tech was having trouble testing the Cavs goaltender, UVa was putting its finishing touches on its seventh win of the season.
Sinead Farrelly scored her team-high seventh goal of the season, and Lauren Alwine tallied the final goal to seal the victory.
Tech (6-4) will play its next game Sunday afternoon against the top-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels, who have yet to lose this season (8-0-1).
The Tar Heels have dominated in the series historically, but in the most recent meeting, the Hokies shocked the Carolina to give Tech its first win over a No. 1 ranked opponent.
It was also North Carolina’s first loss in 34 games.
“They are definitely going to want revenge after last year,” said Kelly Lynch. “Even though they won the national championship last year, it doesn’t really matter to them. It’s still kind of personal.”