No. 17 Virginia Tech outlasts George Mason in overtime victory

George Mason (2-1) 4408
(17) Virginia Tech (4-2) 7119
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BLACKSBURG – In the first overtime period, a turnover by George Mason resulted in a game winning goal by Emma Harden that lifted the No. 17 Hokies to a 9-8 victory over the Patriots.

Mary Claire Byrne forced the Patriots’ turnover as Kendall Welch recovered the ground ball, passing it to Harden to set up the game winning goal.

“It was a gritty performance,” said head coach John Sung. “I thought Mason had a great game plan. We had some late scratches that I think hurt us a little bit, but got some kids to really step up. Kendall, for her getting her next start, she had a huge groundball in overtime and it’s the little things that we talk about that make all the difference in the world.”

The Hokies (4-2, 1-0) led 7-4 at the half, behind Marissa Davey’s two goals in the first 30 minutes. She would ultimately finish the match with a team-best three scores while Paige Petty sent two into the back of the net.

Mason came out of the break, scoring two goals in the first 10 minutes, closing the score to 7-6. Davey’s third goal pushed the Hokies lead back to two, but the Patriots tied it up at 8-8 with two minutes to go in regulation.

Several young contributors kept the Hokies in the game including freshman Emma Crooks, who tied with senior Tristan McGinley with a team leading four draw controls. Fellow freshman Taylor Caskey added a goal and an assist while sophomore Julia Bolte chipped in a goal and two assists.

“We switched our draw kid today. Emma Crooks did a really good job especially in the crunch time being a freshman and being able to be there. I thought our young kids really, really played well. It’s just the grittiness of this team. I thought Mason was really, really well prepared for what they were doing against us and they will be able to build off this and for us we know that each team is going to bring their A game toward us. Today we didn’t have our A game, but we did enough to get the W and I think that’s really all that matters. “

The Hokies head out west for a pair of top 25 matches, facing #RV Colorado on Sunday, March 4th followed by a matchup with No. 20 Denver on Wednesday, March 7th.

“I think we were looking ahead a little bit and so hopefully we learn from what we do and we just kind of go from there,” said Sung. “It was a great learning experience for us. I know some kids struggled, but we’ll get there. We’ll get better every day and see how it goes. But we’ll take the win, that’s what you have to do, take the win.”

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