BLACKSBURG, Va. – Thanks to two goals and one assist from senior Robert Alberti, the Virginia Tech men’s soccer team cruised to a 5-2 win over Big South Conference member High Point at Thompson Field on Tuesday night.
Tech (3-1-1, 1-0-1 ACC) finished the match with 20 shots, while High Point (2-4-0, 0-0-0 Big South) registered 17.
“I thought tonight was a slugfest no doubt. Both teams recorded a total of 37 shots combined and 17 corner kicks. We were evenly matched and it really came down to whoever was going to finish the best. We were fortunate to score the goals that we did and High Point never gave up. There was no time that I felt comfortable on the sidelines,” explained head coach Mike Brizendine.
The Hokies got off to a slow start allowing the Panthers to get a goal in the early minutes of the game. In the 8th minute, High Point forward Mamadee Nyepon received a through ball and put it away to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead.
Tech didn’t waste much time and got a goal back just four minutes later. Sophomore Deven Mason dribbled down the right side and crossed it to senior Robert Alberti. Alberti finished the shot to the far post for his third goal of the season.
The Hokies continued to put pressure on the Panther defense, and the hard work payed off once in again in the form of a goal in the 21st minute. Alberti dribbled down the left sideline and sent a beautiful cross to the head of junior André Thomas. Thomas headed the ball past an outstretched High Point keeper to give Tech the 2-1 lead.
Virginia Tech rattled off 13 shots in the opening period while limiting the Panthers to six and went into the half with the one goal lead.
The Hokies came out of the break on fire adding yet another goal in the 52nd minute. Again, it was Alberti who finished the ball. After some miscommunication between the High Point center backs, the senior picked up the loose ball and blasted a shot with his left foot to the right post to score his team-leading fourth goal of the season and put Tech up 3-1.
Senior David Clemens scored his first goal of the year in the 60th minute when freshman Brandon Eaton played him a through ball. Clemens collected the ball at the right side of the box and slipped it to the far post past the Panther keeper to give the Hokies a 4-1 lead.
The Hokies scored another goal in the 79th minute when sophomore Daniel Lauretano collected a ball in the 18-yard box. Lauretano beat his defender at the right side of the box and calmly placed it to the far post to give the Hokies a 5-1 lead.
High Point would continue to put pressure on the Hokie defense and ended up scoring a second goal in the 89th minute. Renato Punyed stepped up to take a free kick and hit a rocket of a shot off the post and into the net to bring the score to 5-2.
Senior goalkeeper Kyle Renfro finished the night with five saves.
“I’m happy that we got a win, but as always there are things we need to work on and clean up before we take on a very good UNC team on Friday night,” concluded Brizendine.
The Hokies continue their 2013 season this Friday when they take on No. 1 North Carolina in an important ACC matchup at Thompson Field. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech men's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MSoccer).