BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech men’s soccer team defeated Wright State, 1-0, tonight at Thompson Field as it notched the game’s lone goal in the 47th minute on an own goal and the Tech defense along with sophomore goalkeeper Kyle Renfro posted their third shutout of the season.
The Hokies improved to 4-9-1 overall with the win, while Wright State fell to 6-5-2.
“I’m happy that we were able to get the shutout tonight,” said Tech head coach Mike Brizendine. “We had a number of starters out and I relied on pretty much a whole new back line. I think this is a good building block and good momentum going into a very tough game this Friday against Virginia. I thought the guys worked hard and I’m pleased with the effort tonight.”
Wright State had the game’s first chance in the opening minute of play as Will McAteer got behind the Hokie defense, but his attempt to chip the ball past Renfro was stuffed by the Tech ‘keeper. Redshirt freshman midfielder Taylor Lemmon had Tech’s first shot on goal in the fifth minute as he cut inside from the left flank to the top of the 18-yard box and hit a low shot which was held by WSU goalie Craig Feehan. Lemmon had another good low strike on frame in the 24th minute, but Feehan was there again for the Raiders.
Just five minutes before halftime, junior defender and captain David Fiorello made the defensive play of the game for Tech as Wright State’s Drake Stewart slipped a shot past a charging Renfro that appeared to be heading for the goal. Fiorello, however, never gave up on the play and cleared the ball off the endline to keep the game scoreless heading into the intermission.
An evenly played first half reflected the halftime statistics as Wright State had seven shots to five for Tech and both teams had two corners.
The Hokies would tally the lone goal of the game just 62 seconds into the second half. Sophomore midfielder Jed Prater sent a driven cross from the right flank into the Wright State six-yard box, where a Raider defender attempting to clear the ball out headed it into the net resulting in an own goal for Tech. The goal was the second time in three games that the Hokies have scored via an own goal.
There would be fewer chances for both teams in the second half, but Tech was forced to play with 10 men for the last six minutes and change as freshman defender Kevin Reitzel was given his second yellow card caution of the night in the 84th minute. However, the Hokies held off the Raiders over the remaining time to earn the victory.
Renfro, the ACC leader in saves, added six more tonight and now has 74 on the season. Sophomore forward Mikey Minutillo and Lemmon each had three shots to lead the Tech offense. For the match, Wright State outshot Tech, 13-10.
The match was the Hokies final home non-conference game of the season and Tech improved to 4-3-1 at Thompson Field in 2011.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Friday, Oct. 21 against in-state rival Virginia in a key ACC match at 7 p.m. at Thompson Field. Tech then travels to Radford for a 6 p.m. match on Tuesday, Oct. 25.
For updates on Virginia Tech men's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MSoccer).