October 4, 2014
Tech falls to No. 9 Syracuse in double overtime
Hokies outshoot Orange 11-10 in loss
(9) Syracuse (9-1-0 (3-1 ACC)) 00011
Virginia Tech (7-4 (2-2 ACC)) 00000
  • Thompson Field - 1,178

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Despite creating a number of chances and outshooting the opponent 11-10, the Virginia Tech men’s soccer team fell 1-0 in double overtime to No. 9 Syracuse at Thompson Field on Saturday night.

“I thought tonight the guys showed a lot of heart. Obviously, it hurts to lose especially on a goal like that in double overtime. Syracuse is a quality side and they are well coached. It was most definitely a battle,” explained head coach Mike Brizendine.

“I told our players that this is what a match in the NCAA Tournament is going to be like, with two squads who are very good and winning games. We definitely saw that. If you look at the stats it was about as even as a match as you can get. Unfortunately we came out on the short end of that.”

The Hokies (7-4, 2-2 ACC) held an 11-10 advantage in shots over the Orange (9-1, 3-1 ACC) and a 6-4 advantage in shots on goal, but the Hokies were unable to put one in the back of the net while Syracuse’s Emil Ekblom netted a goal in the 107th minute of the match.

The first half was very evenly played, as each squad was able to rattle off four shots apiece. Freshman Ricardo John registered the Hokies’ first shot of the match in the fourth minute, but Syracuse goalkeeper Alex Bono saved his chance.

Freshman goalkeeper Ben Lundgaard made a pair of quality saves in the 11th and 27th minutes before the Hokies would create their best opportunity of the match.

Sophomore Niels Kirch hit a beautiful corner kick from the left side that found the head of John. John’s header was saved off of the line and the ball found its way back to John, who headed it again to goalkeeper Alex Bono. Bono would hold onto it this time and the score would remain 0-0.

Both teams would manage to create a few more chances but nothing would amount of them and both squads would enter the break tied at 0-0. At the half, Lundgaard made a total of two saves.

The Hokies came out in the second half on fire, creating a multitude of chances while limiting the amount of quality chances that Syracuse could create. Despite giving up three corners in the early minutes of the second half, the Hokies would manage to get out of all three without a shot being fired from the Orange.

It was John again who would earn another quality chance in the 58th minute. Kirch sent in another lofted corner kick that found John’s head, but his header would end up saved by Bono.

Tech would create many more quality opportunities, but nothing would hit the back of the net. The Hokies stout defense limited Syracuse to two shots in the second half with none on frame. With the score tied at 0-0 at the end of regulation, the match was destined for overtime.

In the first overtime, the Hokies would record three total shots including a pair of quality chances from John but John’s first shot was saved and his second went just wide of the frame. Neither team would score in the first overtime and both squads would head into the second overtime desperately searching for a game winner.

When the match seemed destined for a draw, it was Syracuse who would find that game-winning goal in the 107th minute. The Orange’s Oyvind Alseth found Chris Nanco on the right side. Nanco whipped a ball in to the head of Ekblom. Exblom’s header sailed past Lundgaard to give Syracuse the golden goal and the 1-0 win.

Ricardo John hit a career high six shots with five being on goal. Lundgaard finished the match with three total saves.

“This was a great learning experience for all of the young guys tonight. I hope that they learn from tonight and that it will serve us well in the matches and years to come,” concluded Brizendine.

The Hokies will continue their season next Friday, October 10, when Tech travels to the University of North Carolina to take on the Tar Heels at 7 p.m.

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