BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech men’s soccer team recently wrapped up its spring exhibition schedule, which saw the Hokies earn victories against Davis & Elkins, American and 2011 NCAA Tournament participant and Big South champion Liberty.
Head Coach Mike Brizendine was pleased with strides the team made during the spring as the Hokies implemented a new system of play.
“I thought this spring was very productive,” said Brizendine. “In the fall, we defended pretty well, but we had trouble scoring goals, so this spring we tried to incorporate a new system to get guys forward and scoring goals. As the guys learned the system, we were better and we saw that in the results, so I was happy about that.”
Coach Brizendine stated that the coaching staff was able to fully evaluate the roster to see where each player stands heading into the summer.
“During the spring the goal is to get guys on the field and playing. We played everybody and we saw some young men who made positive statements on the field. You want to feel comfortable with everyone you have in your group and know your personnel as well as possible. I think we did a good job evaluating our roster and we know what each player brings to the table.”
Overall, the coaching staff was pleased with Tech’s style of play during the spring.
“We were able to play a nice brand of soccer,” said Brizendine. “We emphasized the importance of keeping the ball and possessing. I thought we went through some periods within each game and throughout the spring, where we kept the ball and it looked great. As a coach, that’s what you like to see and I think that was just a glimpse of what we’re going to produce in the fall.”
Tech concluded its spring season with two wins in Blacksburg, the first of which was a 2-1 defeat of American at Thompson Field.
“American is a team that beat us in the fall, so by getting a result there, that showed improvement,” said Brizendine. “It was a game where we had a number of opportunities to do well and I thought it was our first game of the spring where we really put a lot of things together.”
The Hokies followed up the American game with their best performance of the spring, a 3-0 victory over Liberty at Moseley Field.
“The Liberty game was the epitome of what we’re trying to accomplish,” noted Brizendine. “We got guys forward, scored some nice goals and kept a clean slate. Anytime you can do that, especially against a quality team like Liberty, you have to be happy.”
Brizendine said the team looks forward to carrying that momentum into the 2012 regular season. “I thought that our spring was a really good building block. In order to test ourselves, we played some very good teams. We learned from that and continued to improve throughout. The success at the end of the spring was the pinnacle of the offseason and as a staff, we’re excited to come back and get started with training in the fall.”
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