October 10, 2014
Hokies fall on the road to No. 17 UNC
Tech moves to 2-3 in ACC play
Virginia Tech (7-5) 000
(17) North Carolina (8-4) 235
  • Fetzer Field - 3,108

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - After waiting out a two-hour lightning delay at halftime, the Virginia Tech men’s soccer team fell to UNC 5-0 at Fetzer Field on Friday evening.

“I knew with this group that a time would come when we would have a setback. Not having some key players available definitely hurt and they took advantage of it. We had multiple chances,” said head coach Mike Brizendine.

“I thought that Ricardo had a chance to get one early and that would have changed the pace of the game. Ricardo had another breakaway and then it could have been 2-0 in our favor. It’s not like we didn’t have our chances we just didn’t take advantage of them.”

Tech (7-5, 2-3 ACC) was outshot by North Carolina (8-4, 3-2 ACC) 22-6 in the match while the Tar Heels also led in corners 12-5.

The Hokies almost scored early when Ricardo John found himself on a breakaway. John sprinted past a pair of defenders and found himself in a one-on-one situation with the UNC keeper. John placed a shot towards the left post, but North Carolina’s goalkeeper Brendan Moore got a hand to the ball and tipped it wide of the post.

After the early opportunity, the Hokies earned a pair of corner kicks but nothing would come from either of them. UNC began to gain their footing and peppered the Hokie goal with chances, but goalkeeper Ben Lockler cut off multiple crosses and made a pair of saves to keep things level.

The Tar Heels’ offensive pressure finally paid off in the 28th minute when UNC’s Alan Winn beat his defender on the left side of the field and sent a cross to Andy Craven who put the ball into the back of the net to give the Tar Heels the 1-0 lead.

It was Craven again who broke free of the Hokie defense in the 33rd minute. Craven won the ball off a defender and slipped it by Lockler to give the Tar Heels the 2-0 lead.

Tech would ramp up the offensive pressure, but nothing would pay off as the Hokies went into the break down 2-0. At the half, UNC held a 10-2 advantage in shots. Tech and North Carolina both posted four corner kicks a piece. Goalkeeper Ben Lockler made four saves in the opening stanza.

After a two hour lightning delay, both squads took the field on a soggy pitch that saw both sides struggle to gain their footing on the less than desirable playing surface. The Hokies got an opportunity early in the second half when John found himself on another breakaway. John nearly put the ball past the keeper but the goalie got a hand to it and tipped it wide again.

Just a few minutes later a Tar Heel was pulled down in the box. UNC’s Raby George took the penalty kick but goalkeeper Ben Lockler dove to his left and tipped the ball over the bar. On the ensuing corner kick, UNC’s Walker Hume got his head to the ball and sent it into the net to make the score 3-0 in favor of the Tar Heels.

In the 59th minute, Ricardo John broke free of the UNC defense but was pulled down by a Tar Heel defender right when he was about to take a shot. On the ensuing free kick, junior Daniel Lauretano hit a shot that just barely went over the goal.

In the 64th minute, John broke free again and hit a shot that was pushed wide by UNC’s Brendan Moore.

Eight minutes later, UNC scored another goal when the Tar Heels’ Tyler Engel put away a loose ball on a corner kick to bring the score to 4-0 in favor of UNC.

In the 80th minute, the Tar Heels’ Raby George scored the fifth goal for UNC when he hit a shot past Lockler to make the score 5-0. That’s how the game would end. Lockler finished the match with seven total saves, including a penalty kick stop.

“We will regroup and sharpen up. The bottom line is that we have a tough week ahead of us and we need to get better,” concluded Brizendine.

The Hokies will try to get back on track on Tuesday when Tech takes on High Point at Thompson Field on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

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