September 11, 2009
Hokies put up a good fight, but fall to No. 11 USF, 1-0
James Gilson leads the Hokies with two shots.
(11) South Florida (4-0-0) 011
Virginia Tech (1-2-1) 000
  • Thompson Field - 875

BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Hokies (1-2-1) held the defending Big East Champion South Florida Bulls (4-0-0) scoreless through the first half of play in Friday night’s game, but were unable to hold on as they dropped a close 1-0 battle to the Bulls.

Both teams had their scoring opportunities in the first half but were unable to generate anything more than three shots that reached the net. Senior captain James Gilson placed a perfect cross to James Shupp in the box, who headed it right to Bulls goalkeeper Jeff Attinella. Soon after, Gilson earned a solid shot of his own, which also fell right into the hands of Attinella, who again proved to be in the right place at the right time.

In the 27th minute of play, Gilson struck again. His shot from 25 yards out would have likely been a goal in the upper left corner had it made it that far, was deflected, leading to a Hokie corner. Attinella then positioned himself perfectly for Charlie Campbell’s corner and snagged the cross before any Hokie could put a touch on it.

The first minute of the second half proved to be the game-changer as the Bulls wasted no time putting their first and only goal on the scoreboard. In the first 15 seconds of action, Sebastien Thuriere ended scoreless play with a blast to the lower left corner for his first goal of the season. Ogi Perucica collected an assist on the play, which would be the only offense the Bulls would need.

The Hokies continued to battle the No. 11 Bulls throughout the game, collecting 13 corner kicks and generating several scoring opportunities throughout the second half that could have gone either way. They controlled the ball for the majority of play but were unable to find a path through the net. Freshman Gregory Cochrane came close to putting Tech on the board with less than 15 minutes left to play but his shot sailed just high. Robert Alberti, Evan Slusser and Koen Oost also collected shots for the Hokies.

“I thought the men put forth a great effort tonight,” said head coach Mike Brizendine. “We had some great opportunities but they didn’t go our way. The one thing that we take from this game is that when you play top teams in this country, you can’t afford to make mistakes because they will cost you. We’re excited to continue to grow as a unit and see what the team can produce on Sunday.”

Tech finished the game with 19 corner kicks, compared to the Bulls’ three. Brendan Dunn earned one save for the Hokies.

The Hokies will return to Thompson Field on Sunday, Sept. 13, hosting the East Tennessee State Bucs for the final game of the Hilton Garden Hokie Invitational at 7 p.m.

For updates on Virginia Tech men's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MSoccer).

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