Hokies Host Third-Ranked Wake Forest
Weekly notes for Sept. 3-10
September 3, 2003 THIS WEEK IN HOKIE MEN'S SOCCER: Friday, Sept. 5 - Hokies vs. #3 Wake Forest, 7 p.m., at the Virginia Tech Soccer Stadium Sunday, Sept. 7 - Hokies at Villanova, 1 p.m., in Villanova, Pa. (BIG EAST) HOKIE MEN READY TO OPEN NEW STADIUM: Virginia Tech will play its first game at the new Virginia Tech Soccer Stadium on Sept. 5 against third-ranked Wake Forest. The Hokies then open BIG EAST play at Villanova on Sunday, Sept. 7 at Villanova. Wake Forest ties St. Johns as the highest-ranked team the Hokies have ever played. Last year, St. Johns was ranked third when the Hokies played them on Oct. 14. SERIES RESULTS: The Hokies trail the series with Wake Forest 4-2-1, while they lead the young series with Villanova 2-0. The last meeting with Wake Forest was in 1998 when Virginia Tech dropped a 1-0 match, while the Hokies defeated Villanova 3-0 last year. SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: * The Wake Forest Demon Deacons entered the year ranked fourth nationally by the NSCAA and Soccer America magazine and are currently ranked third by Soccer America. They were 15-2-4 in 2002 and are already 2-0 in 2003 with wins over #5 St. Johns (3-1) and #10 Connecticut (2-0). Senior goalkeeper William Hesmer, a leading candidate for ACC Player of the Year, leads the Deacons. He sports a 0.50 goals against average. The Deacons have out shot their two opponents 35-4. * The Villanova Wildcats are 1-1 in 2003 after going 5-13 in 2002. Larry Sullivan leads the Wildcats in his 13th season. Sophomore Charlie Rowan is the teams' top returnee after a five-goal, one assist season last year. The Wildcats return 18 letterwinners. HOKIE NOTES: Virginia Tech opened the year on a good note, winning the Radford Highlander Classic last weekend. The Hokies beat Delaware 2-0 and Mercer 2-1. Senior Bobby 'Brien scored goals in both games, while freshman Ben Nason and junior Bailey Allman each had a goal and an assist. Sophomore goalkeeper Chase Harrison posted his first shut out of the 2003 season. GOALKEEPER COACH IS A FAMILIAR FACE: The Hokies' new goalkeeper coach, John Sexton, is well versed on the history of Tech soccer. After all, he is one of the Hokies' all-time best netminders. Sexton played for Tech from 1994-97 and earned four letters as a goalkeeper. In his senior season, the Hokies were ranked as high as 14th nationally and set a school record for victories in a season (14). Sexton posted a 1.20 goals against average in his final season and is ranked sixth on Tech's career saves list. Sexton graduated from Virginia Tech in 1997 with a bachelor's degree in finance. Following his final season at Tech, he went to England, where he played professionally for the Wrexham Football Club of the English Second Division in 1998-99. ON THE ATTACK: Virginia Tech out shot its two opponents last weekend 34-7 and had 14 corner kicks. Delaware and Mercer combined for just four corner kicks. "O" SO CLOSE: Senior Bobby O'Brien is getting closer to putting his name on several career statistics charts. The Williamsburg, Va., native needs just three goals to move into eighth place in career goals and needs five assists to move into ninth on that chart. He needs only eight points to move into a tie for 10th on that chart. THE WALL: Sophomore goalkeeper Chase Harrison began his year on the right track. He posted a 90-minute shutout against Delaware and then held Mercer off the scoreboard until 85:24. That's 175 minutes of shutout soccer for the Huntington, W. Va. product. HOPING TO RETURN SOON: Redshirt junior Ken Jonmaire has been sidelined with an injury and hopes to return to the lineup soon. Jonmaire led the team in 2002 with eight goals and six assists. UP NEXT: The Hokies host the Virginia Tech Classic on Sept. 12 and 14. Appalachian State, Georgia State and Radford will be participating.