NCAA: Hokies Hammer Hoyas

Dear NCAA,

Look out! We just beat #13 Georgetown 6-1.

Sincerely yours,
Virginia Tech Women’s Soccer

P.S. Want to stop us from scoring? Who you going to cover? We got 6 goals from 5 players in this game, and 22 from 12 on the season.
P.P.S. It would have been rude to give our goalkeeper the night off, but we could have – she didn’t have to make a save all game.

Virginia Tech probably didn’t care about sending a message Friday night, but they did nonetheless, in a dramatic smackdown of the nationally ranked Georgetown Hoyas, who looked completely outclassed the entire 90 minutes.

The Hokies scored twice in the first 15 minutes, both of them efforts worthy of the SportsCenter Top 10. In the 12th minute defender Danielle King sent in a guided missile from at least 35 yards out on the left that sailed over goalkeeper Emma Newins and into the upper right corner. Two minutes later, Shannon Mayrose brought the ball in deep on the right and then sent a cross to the far post that Murelle Tiernan sent in with a diving header. Carli Lloyd and Abby Wambach would have been proud.

Georgetown would get off just one shot the entire first half, an Emily Morgan attempt that went high, with Tech swarming over them and dispossessing them whenever they got the ball.

The Hoyas had some brief hope as just 2 minutes into the second half Grace Damaska fired a shot in under the crossbar from about 25 yards out. But that would last just seconds as on the ensuing counterattack Mayrose found Tiernan again, this time with a through ball up the middle that Tiernan sent in.

In the 73rd minute, a Hokies corner kick from the right was briefly cleared to the far side, then Kallie Peurifoy collected it and channeled Lauren Holiday, bringing the ball in along the end line while dodging one defender and nutmegging the next before sending the ball in past Newins from a very tight angle.

Ellie Zoepfl added a fifth goal in the 84th minute, the ball getting kicked out to her near the top right corner of the penalty area after being passed around inside the box. She fired it into the lower right corner.

The final score game in the 89th minute, with a ball from Madi Conyers falling to Alani Johnson about 15 yards out. Johnson sent the ball in easily for her team-leading fourth goal of the season.

Virginia Tech would finish with 18 shots on the night, 8 on goal, 6 of which went in. Georgetown had a total of 4 shots with just the goal on target. Hokies goalkeeper Caroline Kelly could just about have taken the night off, needing to make zero saves and just one defensive play – intercepting a cross coming in from her left.

With the win, and with Florida State’s loss that same evening, the Hokies should move into the top 4 ranking nationally and be considered a strong candidate for the College Cup.

UNC-Wilmington downs Wake Forest

In the previous match – delayed almost an hour by lightning – a very young Wake Forest team did not have similar success upholding the banner of the ACC against a determined UNC-Wilmington team. The Demon Deacons started 5 freshmen and 2 sophomores who got off to a slow start, giving up 2 goals in the first 12 minutes. And they were lucky not to give up more – Serenity Waters got a through ball in just the third minute, but her attempted chip of goalkeeper Lindsey Preston missed just wide left.

The first goal would come in the sixth minute off a corner kick. Moa Jarl sent it outside the far post where somehow Morgan Leyble despite having her back to the end line managed to volley it into the net.

The Seahawks would double their lead in the 12th minute when Lindsey Byrne lofted what looked like a cross from well out on the right side, but it sailed over Preston and into the upper left corner.

Wake Forest woke up after that, and the rest of the half was scoreless.

The Demon Deacons came out strong to start the second half and got one back inside of 5 minutes. Riley Ridgik got a through ball and was 1-on-1 with goalkeeper Carolyn Huddy but sent it right to her. The rebound came back to Ridgik but with Huddy and defenders converging she had little room. Instead, she slipped it to her left to Katie Dry, who with defenders trying to guard the goal line managed to send it between them and in.

Wake Forest would continue to dominate the second half with 11 shots to none for Wilmington, but they couldn’t seem to put any away. The best chance might have been in the 65th minute when Ridgik was open at the far post with a cross coming to her, but it was a little to high for her to redirect successfully. A Wake forward fell just inside the penalty area 2 minutes later, and the referee blew his whistle. It looked like a PK at first, but the referee set the spot just outside the box, and the resulting shot was high.

It took until the 88th minute, when the referee blew his whistle on a similar foul, but this time pointed to the spot. Ridgik took the kick and sent it hard and high to tie the score.

Wake Forest had the better of the ensuing overtime period, with 4 shots to 2 for Wilmington. But in the final minute the Seahawks earned a corner kick. The ball was initially cleared but came back in again. Second-half goalkeeper Taylor Kerxton tried to deal with it but ended up fumbling it right to the feet of the Seahawks’ Maddie McCormick, who sent a slow roller into the empty goalmouth just as the announcer was counting down to zero. The goal was officially recorded as being scored right at the 100:00 mark.

“We definitely didn’t start out as strong as we should,” said freshman forward Kahla Seymour, “but in the second half we definitely picked it up. We’ve got to learn from our mistakes and come out with a win on Sunday.”

The final score was 3-2 in favor of UNC-Wilmington, who later tweeted that it was their first-ever women’s soccer victory over an ACC team.

W-League Followup, Round 2

Kahla Seymour made her first collegiate career start. (Wake Forest Athletics)

Kahla Seymour made her first collegiate career start. (Wake Forest Athletics)

In the shortened period between games, I had a quick chat with the Braddock Road Stars Elite Kahla Seymour, who made the first start of her collegiate career for Wake Forest this evening and got a shot on goal. “It’s great. It’s great playing at this college level. It’s a whole ‘nother level of experiences. It’s great being able to play.”

She was subbed out after 33 minutes, not being 100% fit after suffering a hamstring injury. “Yeah, I’m just getting back into things. Hopefully soon I’ll be able to get my fitness levels up.”

The primary point of the Braddock Road team was to give players like her some experience playing at a higher level. I asked her if that was a success. “Oh, I think it definitely was. It was great. It was working well. I think it gave me a lot of experience just playing with older players at this level. It was good.”

I then asked what she was focusing on. “Just getting my fitness levels up. Getting my touch back. Being the best player I can be and make an impact when I get on the field.”

I had to ask her about Maddie Huster, who played for the rival Washington Spirit Reserves over the summer but is now a fellow freshman teammate and played all 100 minutes of the match. “She’s playing really well. It’s great being able to play with her.”

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