BLACKSBURG, Va. – Freshman Alessandro Mion scored a goal in the 88th minute to knot the game at 1-1, but the Hokies failed to hold on as they fell to No. 5 Maryland 2-1 in overtime at Thompson Field on Friday night.
“When our group brings the energy that they need to, they can battle with any team in the country. We started off well but they scored a goal against the run of play. We settled in and had two quality chances in the first half that we didn’t capitalize on,” explained Brizendine. “In the second half, Kyle Renfro made a couple of really great saves and we got the equalizer late. I was pleased with our determination and our fight. We had a letdown early into overtime. Against the teams that we play, you can’t afford to take a break and it cost us.”
The Hokies got off to a shaky start in the first half letting in a goal in the fourth minute of play. Maryland’s Patrick Mullins hit a shot that was saved by Renfro. The Terrapins’ Schillo Tshuma picked up the rebound and slotted it home for the 1-0 lead.
Maryland continued to put pressure on Tech forcing senior goalkeeper Kyle Renfro to make several quality saves to keep the game within reach.
The Hokies got an opportunity to level things up in the 26th when sophomore Kai Marshall broke through, but his shot went just high.
As the half wound down, the Hokies got another chance in the 45th minute when Alessandro Mion hit a cross to senior David Clemens who headed the ball off of the crossbar as the half ended.
Maryland outshot Tech 7-3 in the first half and held a 4-0 advantage in corner kicks. Renfro was forced to make six saves in the first half.
The Terrapins came out in the second half and continued to put pressure on the Hokie back line. Maryland would hit eight shots in the second half forcing goalkeeper Kyle Renfro to make three saves.
As time was running out, it seemed as if all hope was running out for Tech, but the Hokies would find an answer with a goal in the 88th minute. Kai Marshall beat his defender on the left side of the box and sent in a cross to the head of freshman Alessandro Mion. The Miami, Fla. native headed it past Maryland’s Zack Steffen to knot the game at 1-1.
Regular time would end in a tie and the game would head into overtime. Maryland would find their second goal just one minute into the first overtime period to win the game and end the Hokies’ season.
Goalkeeper Kyle Renfro finished out the match and his career at Virginia Tech with an impressive nine saves, moving him into a tie for third place all-time with former Hokie Mark Buzzy in career saves with 305.
Six seniors played the final match of their collegiate careers on Friday night. The Hokies say goodbye to Robert Alberti, David Clemens, Devante Dubose, Kyle Renfro, Nick Smirniotopoulos and Austin Stewart who all played their final match at Thompson Field.
“I appreciate all that the seniors have done. They have worked tremendously hard. Each one of them is very special to me and I will miss them tremendously,” concluded Brizendine.
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