HARRISONBURG, Va. - In a tightly contested matchup, Virginia Tech earned its second shutout of the season, defeating Temple 1-0 in the opener of the JMU/Fairfield Inn by Marriott Invitational held at the JMU Soccer Complex.
The opening half was a back and forth affair as Temple (0-1-0) started out as the aggressor, getting three shots off in the first seven minutes of play. Momentum soon shifted as sophomore Ben Strong took four of his team-high five shots in a seven-minute span less than midway through the half.
Neither side was able to break the deadlock until Jed Prater was taken down in the Temple penalty box in the 56th minute. The junior captain calmly stepped up and hit a hard, low shot to the right that that Temple keeper Dan Scheck couldn't handle. It was Prater's first goal of the season.
Like the previous game, one goal was all Kyle Renfro needed. The junior keeper came up with several key saves on the night, the biggest coming with just over 13 minutes remaining as he made a kick save on his goal line after a point-blank shot from Chas Wilson.
The Owls had a late push that included three shots in the final minutes, but the Hokie defense was up to the challenge. The game was Renfro's second-straight shutout and third-straight six save performance.
"Temple was a tough team who put forth a great amount of effort and I was pleased that we were able to match them," Virginia Tech head coach Mike Brizendine said. "We just went out and played very hard tonight. I was pleased with the fact that we were able to get a lead and hold onto it because that is very important for us as we continue to grow as a team."
The Hokies (2-1-0) now turn their attention to Sunday's matchup versus St. Bonaventure. Kickoff is slated for noon at the JMU Soccer Complex.
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