Notre Dame 2, VT 1
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - The Virginia Tech men's soccer team was unable to hold on to a first half lead, as Notre Dame scored two unanswered goals in the second stanza to seal a 2-1 victory over the Hokies Friday night in a BIG EAST matchup. With the loss, Tech falls to 10-7-1 on the year and 5-5-0 in conference play. Notre Dame, which has already clinched a berth in the conference tournament, improves to 10-4-3 overall, 6-3-1 in the BIG EAST.
The first half proved to be a defensive struggle as both teams combined for only nine shots. A throw-in by Peer Rogge (Schleswig, Germany) to sophomore Bailey Allman (Virginia Beach, Va.) in the 29th minute led to the first score of the game, as Allman passed to senior midfielder Rob Smith (Greenville, S.C.). Smith rocketed a shot into the lower left side of the net to put Tech up 1-0.
Unable to score in the first half, Notre Dame charged out after the break to led the offensive attack. The Fighting Irish outshot Tech 8-5 in the second stanza, with a 7-0 advantage on corner kicks. The latter statistic proved to be the decisive one, as Notre Dame was able to convert one of those corners into a goal. Following a corner kick from Chad Riley in the 81st minute, Kevin Goldthwaite's diving header placed the ball in the left side of the net, giving the Irish the game-tying goal.
Less than two minutes later, Notre Dame found itself in a position to score once more as a perfectly placed pass by Riley gave Erich Braun in a one-on-one situation with Tech keeper Chase Harrison (Huntington, W. Va.). Braun was able to put the shot over Harrison and sealed the victory for the Irish.
Harrison notched seven saves in the losing cause for the Hokies. With his score in the first half, Smith tallied the first goal of his career.
Despite the loss to the Irish, Tech still has a shot to earn a berth in this year's BIG EAST tournament. The Hokies could finish anywhere between sixth and ninth place in the conference, depending on how several other teams perform this weekend. Only the top eight teams will earn spots in the tournament, which begins Nov. 9.
Goals by period 1 2 Tot
Virginia Tech....... 1 0 - 1
Notre Dame.......... 0 2 - 2
1. 28:41 VT SMITH, Rob (1) (ALLMAN, Bailey;ROGGE, Peer)
2. 80:05 ND GOLDTHWAITE, Kevin (1) (RILEY, Chad)
3. 82:09 ND BRAUN, Erich (9) (RILEY, Chad)
Shots: Virginia Tech 9, Notre Dame 13
Saves: Virginia Tech 7 (HARRISON, Chase 7), Notre Dame 4 (SAWYER,Chris 4)