NEWARK, N.J. – The Virginia Tech men’s soccer team lost to New Jersey Institute of Technology, 2-1, tonight in a non-conference match on Lubetkin Field at J. Malcolm Simon Stadium. All three goals in the match were scored in the first period.
The Highlanders struck early as Luis Granizo scored from 15 yards via an assist from Kwesi Alleyne only 3:15 into the match. Freshman midfielder Ben Strong took the first shot of the match for Tech in the sixth minute, but NJIT kept the pressure on as Matija Blazic’s header hit the crossbar at 14:12.
Tech then got things going as sophomore forward Mikey Minutillo had his header saved by NJIT goalkeeper Lars Maalen-Johansen in the 21st minute. After shots on frame by junior forward Michael Garrick and junior midfielder Robert Alberti in the 26th minute, the Hokies’ efforts paid off as they were awarded a penalty kick in the 29th minute after Strong was fouled in the box.
Alberti stepped up and buried the penalty, tying the match at 1-1 at the 28:48 mark. It was his second goal of the season, both of which have come from the spot.
However, the tie score did not last long as NJIT (3-7-2) answered only 11 seconds later as Franco Gamero headed in what would amount to the game-winner off assists by Emeka Nwachukwu and Nathan D’Aversa. NJIT’s Christian Galindo also hit the crossbar in the 42nd minute off a free kick, capping a lively first half, which saw NJIT outshoot Tech, 11-7.
The second half would prove to be less offensive, as the two teams combined for only five total shots. Tech (3-8-0) had three of them, with two coming from sophomore midfielder Jed Prater, who led Virginia Tech with three shots on the night. Freshman forward Will Witherspoon recorded the Hokies’ lone shot on goal in the second period as his effort in the 87th minute was stopped by Maalen-Johansen.
In goal, sophomore Kyle Renfro played all 90 minutes and posted three saves, all of which came in the first period.
For the match, the Highlanders had 13 shots to 10 for Tech and won the corner kick battle, 5-4.
The Hokies return home to Thompson Field for the first time in over two weeks on Tuesday, Oct. 11 for a 7 p.m. match against non-conference opponent Campbell.
For updates on Virginia Tech men's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MSoccer).