Hokies Fall To UNC Greensboro In NCAA Second Round
Spartans advance on penalty kicks, 4-3
November 22, 2005

Box Score Virginia Tech 0, UNCG 0 (2 OT)
BLACKSBURG, Va. - UNC Greensboro's goalkeeper, Jay Benfield, stopped Marcus Reed's penalty kick attempt on Virginia Tech's last try, helping the Spartans advance to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. The match officially goes down as a 0-0 tie, but UNC Greensboro prevailed 4-3 in penalty kicks.

The Hokies end the season 10-5-5 while the Spartans improve to 16-5-1 and will face the winner of the UCLA-Southern Methodist match this weekend.

"We were really lucky once two years ago, going to the next round," head coach Oliver Weiss said. "This year, we couldn't pull it out in penalty kicks. Overall, we got lucky not to fall behind in the first half. We redeemed ourselves in the second half. We had our chances to go up, but we couldn't quite get that goal in 110 minutes of soccer. We did everything right except put the ball over the end-line. It's disappointing."

After 110 scoreless minutes, the match was decided on penalty kicks. UNC Greensboro's Egill Atlason connected on the first attempt of the match, only to see Tech's freshman defender, Alexander Baden, score the equalizer, beating Benfield.

The Spartans' Mike Richardson and the Hokies' Magnus Einarsson each put their kicks in the back of the net, leaving the score at 2-2. UNC Greensboro's Scott Jones hit his attempt, giving the visitors a 3-2 advantage. Benfield then made a diving save to his right, stopping senior Greg Roach's attempt.

In the fourth round of penalty kicks, the Spartans' Jokull Elisabetarson put the visitors up 4-2. Freshman Joshua Boateng launched a left-footed shot past Benfield, keeping the Hokies' chances alive.

Henning Jonason had a chance to ice the match in the fifth round. Owning a 4-3 advantage, Jonason shot to his left only to have Tech's senior goalkeeper, Chase Harrison, dive to his right and make a huge stop, keeping the Hokies' chances alive. However, Benfield was up to the challenge, stopping Reed's shot and enabling the Spartans to advance.

Both teams had plenty of opportunities during regulation, but neither was able to convert. Eight minutes into the contest, UNC Greensboro's Mike Richardson hit the left post on a shot from 15 yards away. Forty-two seconds later, Richardson again visited the left post from roughly 18 yards out.

In the first overtime period, Benfield made a brilliant kick save on a Patrick Nyarko shot on a fast break. Nyarko hurdled a defender who attempted to make a slide tackle and rocketed a shot toward the right corner of the goal before Benfield came up with the save.

For the first 45 minutes of play, the Spartans were the aggressors, tallying 10 shots to just two for Tech. However, only two shots were on-goal during that span. At the end of regulation, UNC Greensboro had out-shot the Hokies 18-5, but Tech tallied six shots in the overtime periods to three for the visitors.

Benfield tallied five saves on the evening while Harrison finished the match with seven.

Since the match is recorded as a 0-0 tie, Harrison finishes his Tech career with 24 shutouts, tying his own school record of eight in a season.