BLACKSBURG, Va. -- On only a day’s rest, Virginia Tech (5-11-1, 1-5-1) bounced back from a Saturday loss to earn a convincing 4-1 victory against Radford (6-6-3, 4-2-1). Tech has now won six of the last seven matches against Radford and has not lost at home to Radford since 1998.
“I was very pleased with today’s effort,” said Hokies’ head coach Mike Brizendine. “Radford is a very good team. They’re very mature and well-coached. This provides solid momentum heading into a tough match Friday.”
This win snaps a four-game losing streak and gives the Hokies crucial momentum heading into Friday’s match against Boston College that will decide their placing in the ACC Tournament.
“Getting a victory over our cross-town rival in an emotional game was great,” said Brizendine. “We came in prepared and ready after a tough loss.”
Clarke Bentley got the Thompson Field fans on their feet early, notching his fourth goal of the season in the fourth minute. Greg Cochrane passed to Patrick Huang, who pushed another quick pass which Bentley drove in from ten yards out. In the 23rd minute, Albert Alwang found the net for his first goal of the season, pushing the Hokies’ lead to 2-0. Alwang was standing at the right edge of the goalie’s box and capitalized on a long throw in from the opposite side by Huang.
Tech ended the first half with a 2-0 lead, which is tied for their largest first half lead of the season. Radford outshot Tech 8-3 and held the 5-3 edge in corner kicks, but Tech ultimately made the most of their opportunities near the net.
Radford’s Camden Brown cut the lead in half in the 63rd minute, netting a through pass from Luis Grande at the top of the 18-yard box. Tech responded, with Robert Alberti firing a hard shot off the crossbar from 20 yards out which pushed Tech’s lead to 3-1 late in the match. However, it was Bentley who provided the final goal of the match in the 79th minute on a free kick from 25 yards out, his second of the match and fifth of the season, to bring the final score to 4-1.
This is Bentley’s first multi-goal game of his career. Bentley’s five goals so far this season are a career high. As one of the few seniors on the team, Brizendine was encouraged to see his leadership on display.
“Clarke definitely remembered last year,” said Brizendine, citing last year’s 3-1 loss to Radford. “He knew what it would be like today and spend a lot of time to get everybody prepared.”
Radford barely held the edge in shots, 14-12, which is the fourth consecutive match between these teams in which Radford has outshot Tech. The Highlanders also narrowly held an 8-7 lead in corner kicks. James Daly had five saves on the match and earned his first victory of the season at keeper.
Tech will host its final regular season contest on Friday, Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. as the Hokies welcome ACC foe Boston College. The following week marks the beginning of the ACC Championships, with matches taking place beginning Tuesday, Nov. 9, culminating in the championship match on Sunday, Nov. 14. The eighth and ninth place ACC teams will face off on the first Tuesday, with the winner joining the top seven teams in a single-elimination style playoff.
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