Freshmen Lead Hokies to 4-1 win over Radford
Tech participates in first contest as an ACC member
August 27, 2004

BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Tech women's soccer team used goals from four different players to prevail over the visiting Radford Highlanders 4-1 on Aug. 27. The match was the first of the season for both teams, improving the Hokies to 1-0 and dropping the Highlanders to 0-1.

The Hokies, who started six freshmen in this game, were actually jump-started by a senior, Ryan Johnson. Johnson got the Hokies on the board with the first goal of the season in the 14th minute of play. Freshman Ashley Stinson took a shot that ricocheted high off the crossbar. The ball came down to Johnson who put it past the out-of-place Radford keeper for her first goal of the season and fifth of her career.

The score remained 1-0 until halftime, but not for much longer as Radford scored just 40 seconds into the second half. RU's Jonita Hooker took a left-to-right cross from Nikki Porter and beat Tech keeper Mallory Soldner to knot the score at 1-1.

"We need to tweak a few things and tighten some screws," Tech head coach Kelly Cagle said. "Their goal came off of a really sloppy kickoff by us and that's just a concentration thing."

The Hokies took the lead for good in the 56th minute. Freshman Meredyth Gehrig took a feed from fellow freshman Kristen Verbit and sneaked the ball low inside the right post past Higlander keeper Tara Oleartchick.

Tech notched a couple of insurance goals after Gehrig's first collegiate score. Junior Molly McCall received a corner kick serve from freshman Mary Elizabeth Newton and beat Radford's Annaliese Yoder, who replaced Oleartchick. That goal was McCall's second collegiate goal.

Stinson capped the scoring for Tech with a goal in the 74th minute. Stinson beat the Highlander marking her to a ball kicked ahead by Hokie Lindsay Alexander. She turned the corner at the right of the box and then put the ball past a sliding Yoder into the left side of the net.

Not only did the Hokies have goals by four different players, but they had assists from three different players as well. In all, seven Hokies scored in Tech's first athletics contest as a member of the ACC. Five of those tallying points were freshmen.

"On one hand, we had a senior start at attacking midfield, Kristel Jacobson, and then on the other hand we had a bunch of babies around her," Cagle said. "But we had really good balance and got contributions from a lot of different areas. The best part of it is that the freshmen we have contributing are not playing like freshmen."

Soldner went the distance in goal for the Hokies, allowing the one goal and making four saves. Oleartchick and Yoder split time in goal, with Oleartchick making four saves and allowing two goals. Yoder allowed two goals and made no saves.

Tech's next contest will take place at home on Aug. 31 against VMI. The game will start at 7 p.m. Radford's next game will take place at Radford on Sept. 3 versus Longwood.