Defense Keys Men's Soccer Victory Over Wake Forest
Hokies edge Demon Deacons, 1-0, in exhibition finale.
August 24, 2002

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - The Virginia Tech men's soccer team defeated No.24 Wake Forest, 1-0, in its exhibition finale on Saturday night in front of a crowd of 1,400 fans at Spry Stadium in Winston-Salem, N.C.

Senior Bobby O'Brien (Williamsburg, Va.) scored the deciding goal in the 53rd minute on an assist from Harold Russell (Swarthmore, Pa.). Russell served the ball over the defense from 30-yards out and O'Brien headed the ball over the Wake Forest goalkeeper for the lone goal of the match.

"The objective for tonight's game was to play a good team so we could see where we measured up against them," head coach Oliver Weiss explained. "Not to take anything away from the team that was out there tonight, but Wake Forest was playing without half of their starting lineup. At the same time they are still a very good team."

Wake Forest out-shot Tech, 10-7, in the match, but the Hokies were able to hold a 5-2 advantage in the second frame.

"Our boys defended for most of the game, but did so with discipline and as a cohesive unit. Kudos to our entire team defense," Weiss continued. "Our backs, Keith Benderoth, Greg Medsker, and Harold Russell did a great job. Also, our defensive midfielders, Lasse Mertins and Eric Prigot, in particular, did a terrific job closing out the gaps defensively."

Tech's goalkeepers Chris Davidovicz and Chase Harrison combined for the shutout in the Hokies exhibition finale.

Saturday night's game served as a final tune-up for both teams before the games count beginning next weekend. Virginia Tech will travel to Norfolk, Va., on Friday, Aug. 30, for its 2002 season opener against Old Dominion.

"Overall we are very happy with our performance tonight," Weiss stated. "Now it is back to the drawing board as we get set to play Old Dominion in our season opener."