RADFORD, Va. -- The Virginia Tech men's soccer team lost at Radford, 2-1, tonight at Cupp Stadium in its final regular season non-conference match of the season. All three goals in the match came in the first 18 and a half minutes.
The Highlanders (8-7-0) jumped out to an early 1-0 lead just 2:06 into the match when Luis Grande scored on the first shot of the match for either team via assists from Chel Ho Kim Park and Brian Gwanzura. Redshirt freshman midfielder Taylor Lemmon had Tech’s first chance as he recieved a through ball in the box from freshman midfielder Ben Strong, but Radford GK Ryan Taylor was there to stop Lemmon from dribbling past him in the 18th minute.
Radford then added to the lead as it mounted a counter attack down the right side of the field. Iyiola Awosika’s shot hit the far post but was it followed in first time by Grande for what would amount to the game-winner at the 18:00 minute mark.
Tech (4-10-2) countered just 29 seconds later, cutting the deficit in half as junior defender David Fiorello’s long throw-in was flicked by redshirt freshman defender Drew Ranahan and then headed home by Strong in front of goal. The goal was Strong’s second of the season, while Fiorello and Ranahan each recorded their first assists of the season. In the 33rd minute, Strong dribbled through into the box and appeared to be fouled from behind but no call was given. The game remained 2-1 in favor of Radford going into halftime. The Highlanders held a 7-2 advantage in shots during the first period.
In the second half, Tech sophomore goalkeeper Kyle Renfro made a fine save in the 51st minute off a header from Gwanzura as he tipped the ball over the crossbar. Ranahan got his head on the end of a cross from sophomore midfielder Jed Prater in the 54th minute, but his effort went high. Renfro again made a fine diving save on a drive from outside the box by Park in the 66th minute. The Hokies would continue to push numbers forward over the final 15 minutes, but Radford held off Tech to earn the win.
Renfro had five saves in goal on the night for Tech. RU had 14 shots to six for Tech, while the Highlanders had nine corners to two for the Hokies. Ranahan and Lemmon each had multi-shot nights for Tech.
Virginia Tech returns to action on Friday, Oct. 28 as it travels to Duke for an ACC contest with the Blue Devils. Kickoff from Durham, N.C. is scheduled for 7 p.m. The Hokies then wrap up the regular season on Thursday, Nov. 3 as they host Clemson from Thompson Field at 7 p.m. on Senior Night.
For updates on Virginia Tech men's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MSoccer).