The Virginia Tech women’s soccer team enjoyed an emotional 2-1 victory over the visiting Miami Hurricanes Friday night.
After facing four top-15 ranked ACC teams in their last four matches, and coming away with three losses and a draw, the Hokies were hungry for their first win of the season in ACC play.
“The feeling is great and the girls are excited and they should be,” said headcoach Chugger Adair of the win. “They put in a lot of hard work today and over the last three games where we’ve had some difficult games.”
Much of the first half the Hokies held possession in Miami’s defensive third. They worked the wings of Miami’s zone early on but were unable to find the net, despite many chances generated by Jazmine Reeves and Kelly Conheeney.
However, Miami had no issues keeping pace. ‘Canes midfielder Jordan Roseboro was able to move the ball into Tech’s zone frequently, and Tara Schwitter presented the game’s first scoring opportunity.
Schwitter delivered a shot from 30 yards out that had to be tipped over the crossbar by Tech keeper Dayle Colpitts.
Both teams’ defense played very physically and amassed 10 fouls between the two of them in the first half.
Hokies defender Julia Goldsworthy held the line exceptionally well for Tech. Goldsworthy intercepted multiple passes, shut down Miami forwards in one-on-one situations and moved the ball out of the Hokies’ defensive zone throughout the game.
“It was a game of counters and transitions. Out of the back, we had to get the ball out to stay out of pressure,” Goldsworthy said. “We couldn’t do too much over the top with the slick ground. And the long ball I usually play in wasn’t on, so I had to change my personal game plan.”
The game really started to open up in the second half, and Miami threatened first after forcing a corner from another hard Tara Schwitter shot.
But Conheeney began to shift the momentum in Tech’s favor. She was all over the field, making both plays on defense and offense. She stole the ball frequently in Miami’s zone and distributed the ball well to keep the Miami defense alert.
Reeves’ remarkable individual effort allowed the Hokies to take a 1-0 lead with 20 minutes remaining.
After catching Miami keeper Vikki Alonzo out of position, she hustled past two Miami defenders and dribbled past Alonzo for an easy tap in.
Tech’s lead lasted less than two minutes, and the ‘Canes nodded things up after a goal from forward Shannon Caspar.
After a yellow card on Hokies midfielder Kelsey Loupee, Miami put a free kick in the box from about 35 yards out. With the Tech defense unable to clear the ball out, Caspar was able to get the ball and tap it in.
Tech’s offense threatened the entire last five minutes of the game. The Hokies forced multiple corner kicks, and Ashley Manning split the Miami defense and put a shot between Alonzo’s legs, who made an excellent kick-save.
It seemed as though the game was destined for overtime, but the Hokies weren’t done.
Tech forward Amanda Gerhard sent a cross into the box, and after taking a bounce, Shannon Mayrose was in the perfect place to head it in. It was her seventh goal of the year.
Mayrose came off the bench only five minutes before finding the game winner.
“I just wanted to play the last five minutes as hard as I could and hopefully get something out of it and that’s what I did,” she said.
The Hokies look to keep their momentum going as they host Clemson on Thursday at 7 p.m.