The Virginia Tech men's soccer team came out attacking Tuesday night, finishing in a 1-1 draw with Howard.
Only three minutes into the game, Daniel Lauretano took the first shot for the Hokies, but Howard’s goalkeeper Eric Hamilton made the save.
As the game continued, Tech kept pushing the ball forward and had many shots at the goal. Jed Prater fired a shot 25 yards out in the 19th minute, but the shot was too wide. Prater sent the ball just over the crossbar only four minutes later.
In the 28th minute, Jeremy Swann scored from the top of the box to the right side sending Howard to a 1-0 lead.
Virginia Tech kept the intensity with Ben Strong sending a shot to the right upper 90 to only be stopped again by Hamilton.
The Hokies outshot the Bison in the first half 10-2. Prater led the attack with four shots, while Strong and Cameron Owens both contributed two, with Drew Ranahan and Laurentano adding one each.
Tech came out in the second half looking to retaliate. Lauretano almost had a header on the far post in the 50th minute, but Hamilton served as a strong barrier and rejected the Hokies shot for redemption.
Hope came in the 85th minute for the Hokies as David Clemens sent a penalty kick right by Hamilton leaving Tech only down by a point. This goal served as Clemens’ team-leading sixth goal of the season.
The Hokies outscored the Bison yet again in the second half 13-4.
“We all knew we were dominating.,” co-captain Jed Prater said regarding the first goal in the second half. "We knew a goal would come (because) we’ve been in that situation before. We knew we’d bounce back. We knew if we kept going the goal would eventually come.”
Clemens also added his thoughts of the first goal.
“Primarily, we needed to get one back," he said. "We had our opportunities, we knew we were going to get more opportunities, so we just had to put one away.”
After battling two halves and struggling to get a lead over Howard, Tech was sent into overtime. For the final attempt of victory, the Hokies refused to let the Bison get the lead and kept the pressure on.
The Hokies caught a glimpse of victory in the 95th minute when Connor Pompilio sent the ball right off the right post and then again with 20 seconds remaining in the first overtime period when Strong put a shot just wide of the left post from 20 yards out. Despite their persistent efforts, the Hokies were unable to snatch a goal to send them ahead.
Strong led the Hokies with six shots. Other key players were Clemens and Owens who added five each and Prater who contributed four.
“We’ve created a lot of chances our last four performances. We need to score goals.” said head coach Mike Brizendine. “It has to be better. Just keep finding ways. I think the effort’s there, we put ourselves in good positions, then that final piece sticks.”
Virginia Tech’s next game is this Friday at 6:30 p.m. when they travel to Charlottesville to take on their rival the Virginia Cavaliers.