Regular Season Winds Down For Hokies
Virginia Tech clinches spot in the BIG EAST tournament
October 29, 2003 THIS WEEK IN HOKIE MEN'S SOCCER: Wednesday, Oct. 29 - #23 Hokies vs. Pittsburgh, 6 p.m., Virginia Tech Soccer Stadium Sunday, Nov. 2 - #23 Hokies at Providence, 1 p.m., in Providence, R.I. Tuesday, Nov.4 - Hokies vs. Liberty, 7 p.m., Virginia Tech Soccer Stadium HOKIES CLINCH PLAYOFF BERTH: The Virginia Tech men's soccer team has secured a spot in the BIG EAST tournament. HOKIES PLAYING FOR HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE: When the Hokies host Pittsburgh tonight, a win would secure a home match in the BIG EAST tournament first round. That match is tentatively scheduled for Sunday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. should the Hokies win tonight or Sunday at Providence. SERIES RESULTS: The Hokies lead the series' with Pittsburgh and Liberty. The Hokies trail in the series with Providence 1-0-0. Against Pittsbugh, Virginia Tech is 1-0-1 all-time with a 2-1 win in Pittsburgh last season. Against Liberty, the Hokies are 2-0-0 all-time. Last year, the Hokies won 3-1 in Lynchburg. The Hokies dropped a 1-0 match to the Friars last year. SCOUTING THE OPPONENTS: * The Pittsburgh Panthers are 5-10-1 overall and 2-5-1 in the BIG EAST. They have beaten Georgetown and Boston College in league play. Keeyan Young leads the Panthers with six goals. * The Providence Friars are 6-7-2 and 4-4-1 in the league. They are being led by Eoin Lynch with eight goals. The Friars are still in the running for a spot in the BIG EAST tournament. * The Liberty Flames are 6-5-1 overall. Darryl Roberts leads the team with five goals and seven assists. NATIONAL AND REGIONAL RANKING: The Hokies are ranked 23rd this week by NSCAA and 15th by SoccerAmerica magazine. The Hokies are ranked 5th in the South Atlantic Region by NSCAA. HOKIE TRACKS: The Hokies are just three wins away from tying the school record of 14 wins for a season...Senior Bobby O'Brien tied match records with four goals and nine points against Radford...The Hokies have only been shutout twice this year and have shut opponents out four times...Goalkeeper Jeff Graham made his first career appearance in goal for the Hokies during the second half of the Radford match...The Hokies continue to lead the BIG EAST with 18.2 shots per match. LEAGUE STAT WATCH: A quick look at where the Hokies rank in the BIG EAST stats: Shots - 1st, Points - 2nd, Goals - 2nd, Goals Per Match - 3rd, Assists - 2nd, Assists Per Match - 4th, Goals Allowed - 5th, Goals Against Average - 5th, Saves - 8th, Shutouts - 8th, Corner Kicks - 1st INDIVIDUAL STAT WATCH: A quick look at where the Hokie players rank in the conference stats: Shots - Ben Nason, 5th, Shots - Peer Rogge, 6th, Shots - Bobby O'Brien, 7th, Shots Per Match - Ben Nason, 5th, Shots Per Match - Peer Rogge, 6th, Shots Per Match - Bobby O'Brien, 8th, Points - Bobby O'Brien, 3rd, Points Per Match - Bobby O'Brien, 3rd, Goals - Bobby O'Brien, 4th, Goal Per Match - Bobby O'Brien, 6th, Assists - Ben Nason, 4th, Assists Per Match - Ben Nason, 4th, Saves - Chase Harrison, 4th, Shutouts - Chase Harrison, 6th, Goals Against Average - Chase Harrison, 5th, Save Percentage - Chase Harrison, 4th. SOUTH ATLANTIC RANKINGS: Freshman Ben Nason ranks fourth in the South Atlantic NCAA stats region in assists (7). Goalkeeper Chase Harrison ranks seventh in goals against average (0.90) and sixth in saves (65). Senior Bobby O'Brien ranks 10th in goals (8) and 11th in points (20). NEW TERRITORY: The Hokies have made drastic improvements in 2003. Last season, the Hokies finished 5-5-0 in the BIG EAST and narrowly missed qualifying for the conference tournament. This season, the Hokies are on the verge of not only qualifying for the tournament, but are in the running to host a first round match as well. HUMAN HIGHLIGHT REEL: Senior Bobby O'Brien put on a spectacular scoring show last Wednesday against Radford. He scored a goal in the first half and added a hat trick and an assist in the second half. He also narrowly missed scoring a fifth goal during the match. His four goals and nine points tied single-match records for the Hokies. Bobby is currently ranked ninth in career goals and points for his career. NO TROUBLE ON THE ROAD: While many teams struggle with success in road matches, the Hokies are one of the best teams in the country when playing on the road. The Hokies are currently 4-1-0 in road matches and 3-0-0 in other matches at neutral sites away from Blacksburg. The Hokies' only road loss was at Georgetown. GETTING SUPPORT: Virginia Tech opened the new soccer stadium this season, and Hokie fans have been graciously supporting their team. The Hokies are averaging 625 fans in eight home matches. TEAM OF THE WEEK AWARDS: Two Hokies have received SoccerAmerica Team of the Week Awards in 2003. Charlie Howe received an honor after his three assist-one goal performance at Syracuse. Dustin Dyer was honored after his game-winning goal in the St. John's match. UP NEXT: The Hokies will wait to see who and when they will be playing in the BIG EAST tournament. First-round matches are scheduled for Nov. 8-9 at campus sites. The semifinals and finals will take place at Connecticut's Morrone Stadium on Nov. 14-16.