Hokies set to kick off 2017 season

12F
(17) Virginia Tech (1-0-0) 112
(14) Creighton (0-1-0) 000
  • Morrison Stadium - 4,089
Virginia Tech Game Notes
http://vthoki.es/Notes-Gm1

BLACKSBURG- The No. 17 Virginia Tech men’s soccer team is set to play its first match of the 2017 season on Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern against the No. 14 Creighton Blue Jays. It is the first time the two programs have met on the soccer pitch.

Tech is looking to build upon a strong 2016 season that saw the Hokies reach the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament and achieve a No. 8 end of season ranking. VaSID Coach of the Year Mike Brizendine returns nine starters from a team that won 13 games and has added some talented student-athletes with international experience.

Up front, Marcelo Acuna returns after a 2016 season where he scored 11 goals and provided three assists. The senior from San Jose, Costa Rica has been tabbed to the MAC Hermann Award Watch List, given annually to the nation’s best collegiate soccer player.

Ben Lundgaard had one of the best seasons in school history in goal last year, recording eight shutouts. The senior captain ranks No. 2 all-time at Tech in that category can take make the record his own with another eight this season.

The Hokies had a strong preseason going undefeated in two games against opponents that featured in the NCAA field of 48. Against ETSU, Tech found the back of the net through Marcelo Acuna’s curled shot into the top corner for a 1-0 victory.

Tech also hosted No. 5 Clemson at Thompson Field and battled to a 4-4 draw. Collin Verfurth, Camron Lennon, Justus Kauppinen and Jon Ingason each tallied one goal for Tech. Lundgaard and Morten Lamps split time between the posts, with Lundgaard coming up with two saves during the ceremonial penalty shootout following the conclusion of the 90 minutes.

Creighton enters the season ranked No. 14 and picked to finish second in the Big East. The Blue Jays won 13 games a season ago and reached the Sweet Sixteen. MAC Hermann nominee Ricky Lopez-Espin returns to the lineup and the forward has scored twice in three matches during the preseason.

Next up
The Hokies travel across Omaha to meet the Nebraska-Omaha Mavericks at 7 p.m. Eastern on Sunday, Aug. 27. It will be the first time the Hokies and Mavs have faced each other.

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