Junior Ellie Zoepfl earned her first goal of the season in the 87th minute on Sunday afternoon, as Virginia Tech's 10th ranked women's soccer team surpassed ninth ranked Notre Dame.
Tech came into the game after 10 days of rest, but the team had no trouble shaking off the rust to beat the Fighting Irish.
With the win, the Hokies are 11-1-2 for on the season and 6-1-1 in ACC play. This is also the seventh consecutive season that the Hokies have beaten a top-10 team.
“I think it’s a good testament to the work the girls put in. We’ve been working on trying to push through 90 minutes of solid soccer and digging deep when we need to,” said head coach Chugger Adair.
Senior goalkeeper Dayle Colpitts made history once again for the Hokies, as she logged the most minutes at keeper in Tech history with 6,158, surpassing Mallory Soldner. Colpitts also earned her 38th career win and 25th career shutout.
At the start of the game, both teams were very physical and tested one another frequently.
The Hokies had an early opportunity when freshman Murielle Tiernan had a shot just three minutes in, but Notre Dame’s goalkeeper saved it.
In the first half, each team had four shots, but Tech ultimately controlled the half.
The Hokies nearly took the lead in the 22nd minute when senior Jazmine Reeves made a run and broke through the Fighting Irish defenders and made a cross to junior Shannon Mayrose, who slammed the ball into the net.
Despite the apparent goal, Reeves was called off-sides, negating the goal. That was one of four off-sides calls on Tech in just the first half.
Although Mayrose couldn't connect on the goal, she still provided a big boost for the offense. Mayrose missed significant amounts of time in her first two seasons due to knee injuries, and has played very little this season.
She's only appeared in three matches thus far due to an injury to her right foot two weeks before the season opened.
“I broke my fifth metatarsal in my right foot,” junior Shannon Mayrose said, “It’s amazing to be back. I’ve had the support of everyone on the team and the athletic trainer did everything she could to get me back.”
The Fighting Irish were a very physical team, but the Hokies remained strong, racking up multiple fouls, with sophomore Jordan Coburn even receiving a yellow card.
“They had a transition and I wanted to stop the play, but I don’t let it affect me," Coburn said. "Fouls happen all the time.”
In the second half, Notre Dame controlled the ball, but the Hokies still had a pair of good shots.
Tiernan had another opportunity in the 72nd minute, while Mayrose almost had a goal in the 82nd minute.
But after her frequent frustration early in the half, Mayrose came through.
She sent a beautiful cross to Zoepfl for the lone goal of the game.
“It bounced off the goalie and went to the right and I turned and had time to look up, so I turned and looked up and saw Ellie in the box, so I played it to (her) feet and she kind of just finished it,” Mayrose said.
The Hokies were able to hold off the Fighting Irish for three more minutes, bringing in the win.
“I was very happy with the way we played all 90 minutes today,” Adair said. “We made some adjustments during the second half. The girls did an outstanding job with them and it made the difference for us. We’re very happy to earn this win.”
Mayrose finished with five shots and Tiernan contributed two shots.
The Hokies will be back at home this Thursday against another ACC rival, Wake Forest, at Thompson Field.