The No. 16 Virginia Tech Hokies women’s soccer team brought home a win against the No. 18 Maryland Terrapins Sunday night at Thompson Field.
The team pulled off the much-needed 1-0 win against a highly aggressive Maryland team after losing consecutive ACC matches to North Carolina and Boston College.
The Hokies controlled the pace of the game for much of the first half, but struggled to find the net. The midfield was inventive and gave forwards Shannon Mayrose and Jazmine Reeves many opportunities, but the Maryland defense consistently found an answer.
With just over a minute left before the break, midfielder Ashley Meier found a lane to feed the ball to forward Katie DeTuro in the box, and DeTuro turned and sent it into the back of the net.
“Ashley Meier did a great job of turning her head and slipping me in and then I think I just took a touch by the girl and shot it really quickly,” DeTuro said of the goal.
The last-minute goal in the first half put the Hokies up 1-0 and all the team had to do was hold on and close out the game, but nightmares of last week’s game against Boston College loomed. This time around, though, the Hokies held onto their lead.
“I think we did a better job of closing the game out the second half,” said head coach Chugger Adair. “We basically just sat an extra player in and we are a little bit more organized in closing the game out. We’re still learning ourselves.”
The second half seemed to lead to more of a struggle for the Hokies, as they stayed mostly on the defensive side. But the back four stayed strong, which defender Kelsey Mitchell attributed to better communication.
“I think a huge thing in the back four is communication. Playing against a 4-4-2, they had two very strong forwards, so they’re all over the place,” she said. “I think we just had a better game of communication and we made tackles and read the game much better.”
In last weekend’s loss to Boston College, the Hokies ultimately dominated the first half, but changed their formation in the second half, leaving the defense tired. This week, the defense did a much better job of holding off Maryland’s offense.
“We got a little hectic; you know, when you lose the ball you’re having to defend more and more which is a frustration for us," Adair said. "But we did a better job as far as getting numbers in and organized and better defending, so that was good.”
A win was critical for the Hokies, as their schedule only gets tougher from here on out.
“We needed this and we took last week to look at our team and look inside ourselves and we got together and we made sure that we were going to come out and we were going to win this game,” DeTuro said.
The Hokies will continue ACC conference play later this week against No. 4 Duke at home on Thursday.