“I give credit to Wake Forest. They’re a great team and there’s a reason why they are sitting at the top of the ACC. I was disappointed with that early goal in the first half, but I thought after that we had some quality chances that we could’ve put away but we just weren’t clinical enough,” said head coach Mike Brizendine.
Tech (3-3-3, 1-1-3 ACC) was able to earn some quality scoring opportunities in the opening minutes of the match, peppering the Wake Forest (6-2-2, 4-0-1 ACC) goal with three shots in the early minutes.
In the third minute of the match, senior Robert Alberti nearly put the Hokies on top after he hit a shot from 12 yards out. A Wake Forest defender was able to clear the ball off the line to keep the Hokies off of the board.
Just one minute later, sophomore Kai Marshall had an opportunity to put Tech up. Marshall fired a shot from the top of the box, but Wake Forest’s goalkeeper Andrew Harris was able to turn it away.
Despite the Hokies putting together some quality chances early on, Wake was able to put one in the back of the net in the seventh minute when an Ian Harkes free kick found Jared Watts in the box who put the ball past Renfro to give the Demon Deacons a 1-0 lead.
Freshman Niels Kirch nearly got one back for Tech in the 30th minute. Sophomore Daniel Lauretano laid the ball off to Kirch at the top of the box. Kirch hit a bending shot that looked out of reach of Harris, but Harris was able to make a top-knotch save and parry it out of bounds.
Wake almost doubled their tally in the 39th minute when Tolani Ibikunle hit a rocket of a shot, but Renfro was able to turn it away to keep the score within one.
Senior David Clemens nearly put the Hokies on the board in the 44th minute when freshman Brandon Eaton picked up a loose ball at midfield and slipped it to a streaking Clemens. The senior captain collected the ball and hit a shot that sailed just high.
Tech entered the break trailing 1-0. Each team recorded six shots in the first half of play. The Demon Deacons held a 6-3 advantage in corner kicks at the half.
Wake earned the first quality chance of the second half when Luca Gimenez hit a shot in the 49th minute to force Renfro to make another diving save.
Most of the play was at midfield for the opening 15 minutes of the second half as both Tech and Wake failed to produce a legitimate scoring chance.
Kirch almost got one back in the 61st minute, but his shot was blocked by a teammate in front of the net.
The Demon Deacons were able to score another goal in the 70th minute. Renfro was drawn out to make a save and Wake’s Jacori Hayes picked up the loose ball and placed it into the vacant net to give Wake the 2-0 lead.
Wake Forest put the game out of reach in the 76th minute made when Sean Okoli put in a breakaway to make the score 3-0.
Despite pushing numbers forward to try and get a goal back, the Hokies failed to get one back and the match would end 3-0.
The Demon Deacons outshot Tech 14-7 overall and held a 12-4 advantage in corner kicks. Renfro was forced to make five saves in the match.
“When we stick to our game plan, we have done good things. We need to move forward and continue to show that discipline in our future games. That’s something we have to achieve. When we do that, we get good results. When we shy away from that, we get loose and we have nights like tonight. Against the teams that we play, you can’t afford to get loose.”
The Hokies continue ACC play on Tuesday night when the team travels to Pittsburgh for another ACC contest.
For updates on Virginia Tech men's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_MSoccer).