Villanova 0, VT 3
BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Tech men's soccer team improved to 4-2-1 on the year and 2-1-0 in the BIG EAST as the Hokies shutout the visiting Villanova Wildcats, 3-0, on Saturday afternoon at Moseley Field. With the loss, Villanova falls to 2-6-0 on the year, 0-3-0 in conference play.
Sophomore Ken Jonmaire (East Aurora, N.Y.) opened the scoring in the 40th minute of the match for Tech. Freshman Matt Bright (Chesapeake, Va.) crossed the ball to Jonmaire who headed the ball past the Villanova goalkeeper from 10 yards out.
The Hokies added to their lead in the closing minutes of the first half on a goal by junior John Havas (Mechanicsburg, Pa.). After Bright made a run down the sideline and centered the ball to Jonmaire, Villanova's goalkeeper appeared to have saved the shot, but Havas provided the finishing touches deflecting the ball into the net from point blank range. Both Jonmaire and Bright were credited with assists as Tech entered intermission with a two-goal advantage.
Bright, contributing with his first two career assists, and Havas came in off the bench to spark the Hokies' offense in the first stanza.
"Every player is told, through their hard work and dedication to this program, they will create themselves an opportunity," head coach Oliver Weiss explained. "(Matt) Bright is one of those kids who keeps at it and works at it. Today, his hard work paid off. Especially at a time when the game is tight, both he and (John) Havas came in off the bench and added a spark to our team."
In the 73rd minute, Tech added an insurance to seal the victory. Freshman Peer Rogge (Schleswig, Germany) connected with classmate Charlie Howe (Mechanicsville, Va.). Howe then beat a defender and found junior Lasse Mertins (Rotenburg, Germany) behind the Villanova defense with only the Wildcat goalkeeper to beat. Mertins buried the shot for his second goal of his rookie season.
"I am very happy with today's performance because we were able to put forth a complete effort for 90 minutes," Weiss stated. "The score is not reflective the quality of both teams. The game was much closer than 3-0. They actually outshot us, if I am not mistaken (14-12), but that just goes to show that they are a good team."
Hokie goalkeeper Chase Harrison (Huntington, W.Va.) recorded his first career shutout making three saves in his second career start. It was the third shutout of the season for Tech.
"We were just fortunate enough to be more disciplined defensively than we were against West Virginia," Weiss said. "That is what we worked on and what I hoped to see. For the first 20 minutes they gave us a heck of a time and early (Villanova) goal could have made this a different game."
In fact, the Wildcats did have a scoring opportunity early in the match. In the 30th minute of play the Wildcats were awarded a penalty kick just outside the Hokies' penalty box. Villanova's Dan Massimini blasted a shot through the Tech defensive wall and Harrison, but defender Harold Russell (Swarthmore, Pa.) headed the ball over the net before it crossed the goal line, preserving the shutout.
"Overall it was a great effort," Weiss said. "Everything went the way we wanted it to. Eric Prigot did a great job today shutting down one of Villanova's more dangerous players. Our defense held up and played a discipline, steady game.
The Hokies will be back in action on Tuesday, Sept. 24, when they travel to Radford, Va., to face area-rival Radford. The match is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.
Goals by period 1 2 F
Villanova (2-6-0, 0-3-0) 0 0 - 0
Virginia Tech (4-2-1, 2-1-0) 2 1 - 3
1. 39:45 VT JONMAIRE, Ken (BRIGHT, Matt)
2. 42:45 VT HAVAS, John (JONMAIRE, Ken;BRIGHT, Matt)
3. 72:54 VT MERTINS, Lasse (HOWE, Charlie)
Shots: Villanova 14, Virginia Tech 12
Saves: Villanova 5 (WILLIAMS, Jon 5), Virginia Tech 4 (HARRISON, Chase 3; Team 1)