September 9, 2014
Tech cruises to 4-1 win over Longwood
Four Hokies score first career goals in victory
Longwood (1-2) 011
Virginia Tech (2-2) 224
  • Thompson Field - 703

BLACKSBURG, Va. - It was a night of firsts for several members of the Virginia Tech men’s soccer team as sophomores Niels Kirch and Som Essome and freshmen Ian Grubb and Ricardo John scored their first career goals to defeat Longwood 4-1 at Thompson Field on Tuesday night.

“I want to start off by giving credit to Longwood. They fought all night and after they scored their goal they put us under duress,” explained head coach Mike Brizendine. “With that being said, we were able to execute our game plan and that led to us scoring some very good goals. We were able to keep the ball and create a number of chances. Heading into this game, we put an emphasis on bringing a lot of energy into it and I think we did that.”

Virginia Tech (2-2, 0-0 ACC) dominated the game from the opening whistle outshooting Longwood (1-2, 0-0 Big South) 16-9. Tech also held a dominant 13-2 advantage in corner kicks.

The Hokies got things started off early when Essome received a ball down the left sideline from freshman Jonathan Cruickshank. Essome received the ball slipped by his defender and placed the ball to the far post to put the Hokies on top 1-0 in the 13th minute. Essome’s goal was his first in a Virginia Tech uniform.

In the 36th minute, Niels Kirch scored his first career goal when Cruickshank played a long ball to sophomore André Thomas. Thomas took the one-touched the ball to Kirch who placed it past the Longwood keeper to put Tech up 2-0.

That’s how the score would stand going into the break. At the half, Tech led 9-4 in shots and 5-1 in corner kicks. Earning the start in goal, senior Ben Lockler was not forced to make a single save in the opening stanza.

Longwood came out of the break with new life and put a ton of pressure on the Hokie back line. That pressure eventually paid off in the 61st minute when Longwood’s Jonathan Kukapa picked up a loose ball and hit a rocket of a shot just out of reach of Lockler to bring the score to 2-1 in favor of Tech.

The Lancers would continue pressuring the Hokie goal, but it was freshman Ricardo John who silenced their efforts in the 67th minute. Essome, after drawing the keeper out of goal, played the ball at a backwards angle to John who coolly passed it into the goal to give Tech the 3-1 lead.

Tech finished things off in the 71st minute when redshirt-freshman Ian Grubb capitalized on a defensive miscue from the Lancers and placed the ball past the Longwood keeper to extend the score to 4-1.

The Lancers nearly got another goal back in the 88th minute when Longwood’s Christian Kelty took a shot from point blank range, but Tech’s keeper Lockler was able to use cat-like reflexes to turn the ball away.

That’s how the game would end. In all, four Hokies, freshman Collin Verfurth, Grubb, Lockler and Cruickshank, started in their first match for Tech while freshman Rodrigo Zampieri appeared in his first match for Tech.

“This was a great result for us, especially heading into our ACC opener this Friday against UVA in Charlottesville,” concluded Brizendine.

Tech will open ACC play on Friday evening when the team travels to the University of Virginia. Game time is slated for 8 p.m.

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