Olympic Sports: Men’s Soccer Falls, Women’s Soccer Finishes Strong

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Virginia Tech lost at home for the first time this season against North Carolina on Sunday. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

Last week, the Virginia Tech men’s and women’s soccer teams wrapped up their home slates, both eyeing postseason play. The women’s team took down Boston College on Sunday, while the men’s team was edged out by UNC. Volleyball, meanwhile, had another winless weekend as it continues its search for its first conference win. 

Men’s Soccer

It wasn’t the senior night No. 13 Virginia Tech (9-3-3, 3-3-1 ACC) envisioned.

For the first time all season, the men’s soccer team was shutout and lost a match at Thompson Field, falling 2-0 to North Carolina on Sunday, Oct. 24.

Sunday was uncharacteristic for the Hokies, who weren’t able to break through the Tar Heels’ defense all night and committed 10 fouls. Both teams posted nine shots, though North Carolina recorded more shots on goal with three compared to the Hokies’ two.

Early on, keeper Ben Martino did what he does best: stop shots. With the match still scoreless, North Carolina was awarded a penalty kick in the 37th minute, but Martino dove to his right and denied the shot.

But lightning didn’t strike twice for Tech. Once more, after a Sivert Haugli foul in the box, UNC attempted a penalty kick in the 53rd minute. This time, it beat Martino to give the Tar Heels the 1-0 lead.

Injuries hurt VT in the match as midfielder Tyler Taber and defenseman Welnilton Da Silva Jr. left the match with respective injuries. With both of them on the bench, North Carolina found the back of the net once more in the 77th minute, putting the game out of reach for Tech.

The loss snapped a six-game home win streak for Tech, who had only conceded four goals at Thompson this season.

Up next, the Hokies travel to No. 12 Pittsburgh on Friday night to face the Panthers for their final regular season match of the season. It can be steamed on ACC Network Extra at 7 p.m.

Women’s Soccer

After an offensive explosion that resulted in five goals for Virginia Tech (10-5-2, 4-3-2 ACC) against Miami, the offense was a little more quiet in its 1-0 win over Boston College on Sunday afternoon, which wrapped up Tech’s home slate.

It was freshman midfielder Emma Pelkowski’s right foot that made the difference in the win after she recorded a goal and an assist in the 5-0 victory over Miami on Thursday night. 

Emma Pelkowski (26) scored Virginia Tech’s lone goal against Boston College on Sunday. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

After midfielder Emmalee McCarter and forward Allie George advanced the ball down the right touchline, Pelkowski received the ball from George’s cross at the near post and found the back of the net from four yards away, beating BC keeper Wiebke Willebrandt.

With the win, it gave Virginia Tech 10 wins of the season, reaching the double-digit victory total for the 11th time in head coach Chugger Adair’s tenure. Following the win, Tech trimmed off two points off its gap in the ACC table behind Clemson, which sits in sixth and in the final ACC Tournament position.

Meanwhile, keeper Alia Skinner made six saves on Sunday and earned her fifth clean sheet of the season.

Forward Tori Powell, though, almost doubled Tech’s lead in the 37th minute when she was dragged down in the box. After the ball came off her right foot, it bounced just wide of the post, despite the missed penalty call.

Virginia Tech visits Syracuse on Thursday at 7 p.m. for its ACC finale against the Orange. To qualify for the ACC tournament, the Hokies will need to win, a loss by Clemson and a loss or a draw from North Carolina.

Volleyball

The Hokies are still searching for an ACC win. (Virginia Tech sports photography)

It’s been nearly a month since Virginia Tech (9-13, 0-10 ACC) last won a set — the third set against Boston College on Oct. 1. Since then, the Hokies have dropped 23 straight sets in eight matches.

VT is still searching for its first conference win of the season. Over the weekend, the Hokies lost two matches, one to Florida State and the other to Miami at Cassell Coliseum.

Against Florida State on Friday night, Tech was blown out and just about uncompetitive in all three sets, losing 25-14, 25-19 and 25-14. But middle blocker Angel Robinson left her mark on the floor, delivering six kills on 16 attacks and was errorless.

After going down 11-4 in the first set, the Hokies played their best set in the second, tying the score eight times before conceding it when the Seminoles started to pull away at 20-18.

Sunday’s match provided a similar story when Miami ran through the Hokies’ home floor with a sweep, beating them 25-17, 25-15 and 25-18.

Outside hitter Cera Powell led the way on VT’s offense with 10 kills on 33 swings, and recorded her eighth double-double outing of the season. Miami, though, outhit Tech, .211-.019, and led in kills, 40-25.

Up next, Virginia Tech travels to Charlottesville to play Virginia in the Commonwealth Clash on Friday at 7 p.m.. After that, a trip to No. 4 Pittsburgh is in the works on Sunday afternoon with first serve at 1 p.m. Both matches can be streamed on ACC Network Extra.

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