Providence 2, VT 3
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Junior Emily Barnhart (Columbus, Ohio) scored two goals, including the game-winner, in leading the Virginia Tech women's soccer team to its first BIG EAST victory of the season, a 3-2 win over Northeast Division opponent Providence. With the victory, Tech improves to 4-8-1 on the year and 1-2-0 in conference action, while Providence falls to 7-5-2 overall, 1-4-0 in the Northeast Division.
Barnhart scored the first goal of the match in the sixth minute of play after dribbling through a line of Providence defenders and beating the Friar goalkeeper, Caroline Haines.
Tech added to its lead in the 21st minute on a goal by junior Jessica Myers (Richmond, Va.). A Providence defender blocked a shot by sophomore Kristel Jacobson (Hampton, N.H.), but the ball deflected right to Myers who gave the Hokies a two-goal advantage with her fifth goal of the season. Jacobson was credited with the assist.
The Hokies' defense, anchored by the steady play of junior Kathy Holdsworth (Sarasota, Fla.), limited the Friars to only one shot in the first half. Tech has allowed only one first half goal in the last six matches. Tech's second half woes continued as Providence outshot the Hokies 8-4 and held a 6-0 advantage on corner kicks in the second stanza.
Friar sophomore Lauren Ritchie put Providence on the board in the 51st minute of action with a goal from atop the penalty box. Classmate Maura Robertson played the ball back to Ritchie to set up the Friars' score.
Barnhart increased the Hokies' lead to 3-1 in the 68th minute, scoring what proved to be the game-winner. Myers assisted on the goal.
The Friars once again managed to cut Tech's lead to one goal on an unassisted goal by freshman Kerry O'Malley.
Providence applied pressure on the offensive end until time expired as the Hokies held on for the victory. The Friars' best opportunity came in the 80th minute when sophomore Veronica Bakke beat the Hokies' goalkeeper, Katie Hancock (Stockton, Md.), but Tech defenseman Krista Dooley (Richmond, Va.) cleared the shot away before the ball crossed the goal line.
Hancock recorded two saves and allowed one goal in the second half, while sophomore Natasha Dirda (McKees Rocks, Pa.) started the game and earned her second victory of the season. In goal for Providence, Haines, the BIG EAST Preseason Goalkeeper of the Year, made three stops and allowed three goals.
Tech will return to action next Sunday afternoon when it hosts the Syracuse Orangewomen on Moseley Field at 1 p.m., in a conference divisional match. The match will be the first of a soccer double-header and will be followed by the Hokies hosting Georgetown in BIG EAST men's soccer action.
Goals by period 1 2 F
Providence (7-5-2, 1-4-0) 0 2 - 2
Virginia Tech (4-8-1, 1-2-0) 2 1 - 3
1. 5:46 VT BARNHART, Emily (unassisted)
2. 20:23 VT MYERS, Jessica (JACOBSON, Kristel)
3. 50:54 PC RITCHIE, Lauren (ROBERTSON, Maura)
4. 67:48 VT BARNHART, Emily (MYERS, Jessica)
5. 74:58 PC O'MALLEY, Kerry (unassisted)
Shots: Providence 9, Virginia Tech 10
Saves: Providence 3 (HAINES, Caroline 3), Virginia Tech 2 (HANCOCK, Katie 1; TEAM 1)