“I’m pleased that we scored some goals tonight and earned a shutout. I wish we had been a little cleaner in the attacking third and put away a few more chances,” explained head coach Mike Brizendine.
The Hokies (4-4-5, 1-2-5 ACC) outshot the Keydets (1-12-1, 1-6 Big South) 23-2 and held an 11-0 advantage in shots on goal.
Tech got off to a quick start with a goal in the eighth minute. André Thomas settled a ball out wide and sent a pass to sophomore Kai Marshall. The Charlottesville, Va. native collected the ball at the top of the box, beat his defender and buried his shot into the net for his second goal of the season to put the Hokies up 1-0.
Tech nearly got on the board again in the 32nd minute of the game when James Duvcevski received a ball at the top of the box. Duvcevski hit a shot that seemed as if it was going into the goal, but VMI’s goalkeeper Alex Guerra got his hands to the ball and parried it away.
Both teams were unable to create any quality chances after that and the Hokies went into the half with a 1-0 lead. Tech outshot the Keydets 5-0 in the first half and held a 2-0 advantage in corner kicks.
The Hokies got an opportunity in the 50th minute when Thomas hit a rocket of a shot from 30 yards out. Thomas’ effort was stopped by VMI’s second half goalkeeper Zach Kaplan.
Tech got another opportunity in the 60th minute when Thomas sent a cross to senior David Clemens. The senior captain hit a one time shot that was saved off the line by Kaplan.
Just one minute later, sophomore Daniel Lauretano got his chance after he beat a pair of defenders. Lauretano’s effort missed just inches wide of the frame.
The Hokies went up 2-0 in the 77th minute when Thomas put one in the net for his second goal of the season. Senior David Clemens ripped shot from the top of the box that was blocked by a Keydet defender. Thomas picked up the loose ball beat a pair of defenders and buried his shot past Kaplan. Tech would hold onto that lead for the remainder of the match.
Tech outshot the Keydets 17-2 in the second half and held a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks.
Senior goalkeeper Kyle Renfro was not forced to make a single save, but earned his 5th shutout of the season and the 14th shutout of his career. Renfro is just one shutout away from tying for second place in career shutouts.
“It’s nice to get back into the win column. It’s definitely a positive to gain some momentum moving into a competitive matchup with NC State on Friday,” concluded Brizendine.
The Hokies continue their schedule on Friday night when the team takes on ACC rival NC State in a crucial ACC matchup.
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