Olympic Sports Update: Men’s Soccer Continues Its Tear, Women’s Soccer Looks To Bounce Back

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Virginia Tech men’s soccer is officially a top-five team thanks to a seven-game unbeaten streak. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

Another week meant two more wins for the Virginia Tech men’s soccer team, running its unbeaten streak to seven games. Meanwhile, the women’s soccer team lost two close matches and the volleyball team is still searching for answers after a tough weekend in North Carolina.

Men’s Soccer

Two offensive explosions, eight goals, a clean sheet for Ben Martino and a No. 5 ranking capped off one of the more eventful weeks for the Virginia Tech men’s soccer team (8-1-3, 3-1-1 ACC). 

Last Friday, the Hokies scored four goals — all in the second half — against then-No. 23 Louisville. Half of those were scored by forward Jacob Labovitz, Tech’s leading goal scorer on the season. The other two were followed by forwards Pol Monells and Kahlil Dover.

Though neither team scored in the first half, it didn’t take long to get things going in the second period. Labovitz headed in his 20th career goal for the Hokies off a cross from Kyle McDowell in the 47th minute.

Five minutes later, Tech’s lead doubled when Labovitz fired a shot into the roof of the net off a quick pass from Tyler Taber. 

After the Hokies’ two-goal lead was cut in half during the 69th minute, Monells received a long pass from Kahlil Dover and dribbled around the keeper to give the Hokies another two-goal lead.

Dover then put his name in the goal column after sweeping into the box and finishing a cross from Monells in the 81st minute to give the Hokies a 4-1 lead.

Despite conceding a second goal in the dwindling minutes, Matt Zambetti stepped into goal for Martino for the second time this season, registering six saves.

On Tuesday, Tech moved up from No. 9 in the United Coaches Soccer Poll to No. 5 and walked away winners as it hosted Davidson.

The Hokies came out swinging early, scoring two first half goals and putting the game away early, despite some of their regular starters.

Conor Pugh registered a brace, scoring once in each half. Meanwhile, Monells added Tech’s second goal of the night in the 31st minute and defender Sivert Haugli added on VT’s fourth goal of the night on a penalty kick in the 87th minute.

Up next, the Hokies travel to Winston-Salem, N.C. to face Wake Forest on Saturday at 7 p.m. The match can be streamed on ACC Network Extra.

Women’s Soccer

Virginia Tech women’s soccer looks to bounce back against No. 1 Florida State after two straight losses. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

Last week, the Virginia Tech women’s soccer team (8-4-2, 2-2-2 ACC) saw its six-match unbeaten streak come to an end at the hand of Clemson, 1-0, on Oct. 7.

Eight minutes into the match, forwards Nicole Kozlova and Tori Powell presented Tech its best scoring chance of the night. On a counter, Kozlova sent Powell a pass that was placed perfectly between her feet. But Powell’s contested attempt was saved high by Tigers’ keeper Hensley Hancuff.

Clemson found the eventual game-winner in the 17th minute when Clemson’s Morris sisters – Makenna and Maliah – teamed up. Maliah sent a right-to-left cross into the Tigers’ 18-yard box, and Makenna headed a teardrop over the hands of keeper Alia Skinner that dipped into the top left corner of the frame.

With the Hokies still trailing during the 80th minute, Kozlova moved around a defender to set up her chance at the match-tying goal, but the Ukrainian international’s chance hooked outside the left post.

After the loss to Clemson, the VT traveled to Wake Forest on Sunday night. And even with Powell’s hat trick when she scored in the 22nd, 46th and 61st minutes, it wasn’t enough for the Hokies as they dropped the match, 4-3.

Wake Forest struck first with two goals in the first 12 minutes, but midfielder Emma Pelkowski’s pass provided the assist on Powell’s first goal of the match that brought Tech within one of Wake Forest before the half-hour mark.

The Demon Deacons went into the half with a 3-1 lead before Powell scored her next two goals to tie the score at three in the 61st minute.

But it wasn’t enough.

Three minutes later, Tech conceded the game-winning goal when Shayla Smart advanced past defender Emma Steigerwald to unload her 12-yard attempt through the right post.

Virginia Tech returns home to Thompson Field on Friday when the Hokies host No. 1 Florida State at 5 p.m. The match can be streamed on ACC Network Extra.

Volleyball

Virginia Tech volleyball is still looking for its first ACC win of the season. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

The Virginia Tech volleyball team (9-9, 0-6 ACC) is still searching for its first conference win after dropping two matches in North Carolina over the weekend. The Hokies were swept by both N.C. State on Friday night and North Carolina Sunday afternoon.

Tech fell 25-14, 25-12 and 25-19 to the Wolfpack after they jumped out to early leads in all three sets without looking back. The third set, though, was a bit tighter when the VT came within a point at 19-18 after a kill from outside hitter Amanda Lowe.

Ultimately, N.C. State killed the Hokies’ momentum and used a five-point run to run the Hokies out of the building and on to Chapel Hill.

On Sunday, Tech didn’t fare much either against the Tar Heels when they downed VT 25-8, 25-23 and 25-8 in three straight sets.

The Hokies, though, showed some fight when a Maya Perry ace gave them a 19-15 lead in the second set. But they couldn’t stop the UNC train as it went on an 8-1 run later in the set to claim it.

Then UNC rolled right through the third set, leaving the Hokies winless during their weekend in the North Carolina.

Virginia Tech returns to Blacksburg for two straight weekends, opening the home stand with No. 3 Louisville on Friday and Notre Dame on Sunday. Both matches can be streamed on ACC Network Extra.

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5 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. This is great stuff, nice going men’s and women’s soccer. Hang in there volleyball, the wins will come. Having played competitive volleyball for 20+ years at the club level, I can tell you that once you win the first league set, the wins will cascade like a waterfall. Like I said, hang in there.

  2. “The Hokies came out swinging early, scoring two first half goals and putting the game away early, despite some of their regular starters”

    Seems a rude thing to say about the starters.

    Maybe “DESPITE resting some of their regular starters?” better fits the narrative?

    Just keeping y’all on your toes, keep up the great work TSL!

  3. Why don’t you have any news about Men’s and Women’s Cross Country? Check their records in the ACC since Tech has been a member!

  4. The Women’s Soccer game is also on Bally Sports Florida per today’s Tallahassee paper. It’s front page news.

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