CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – The Virginia Tech men’s soccer team rallied coming out of intermission with two goals in just over four minutes, but 10th-ranked North Carolina got the benefit of an own goal by the Hokies in the 56th minute to register a 3-2 victory on Saturday night at Fetzer Field in ACC action.
Junior James Gilson paced the Hokies (5-8-1, 0-6-0 ACC) with both goals – his fifth and sixth of the season – while freshman goalkeeper Thomas St. Germain made four saves in net for Tech, which played the Tar Heels tough for most of the match. The Hokies out-cornered UNC 4-2 in the match.
“This was a tough loss to swallow, especially after our team played well enough to win its first ACC match,” Tech head coach Oliver Weiss said. “We made a few errors and they punished us for it, but it was one of our better performances of the year.”
The Tar Heels (11-2-1, 3-2-0 ACC) opened up the scoring in the 17th minute when Garry Lewis volleyed home a Kirk Urso corner kick from 12 yards out, and then made it 2-0 in the 43rd minute when Brian Shriver put home his 12th of the season.
Tech came out firing in the second half, as Gilson converted just 1:48 into the stanza with a shot from about eight yards out on the left side. He then added his second goal 2:16 later – this time on a penalty kick – to knot the contest at two apiece. It was his third successful penalty kick of the season, and he now leads the Hokies in goals (six), assists (four) and points (16) on the season.
Unfortunately for the Hokies, the deciding score didn’t even come off the foot of a Tar Heel. The game-winner came at 55:32 when UNC’s Jordan Graye sent a cross into the box that was intended for Shriver. A Tech defender tried to redirect it away from the net, but it deflected off of him and past St. Germain for the Tar Heel’s third and final goal.
The Hokies return to action on Tuesday with a non-conference tilt against Appalachian State at Sandra D. Thompson Field. Game time is set for 7 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech men's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MSoccer).