Hokies, Rams play to a draw
Stinson's first half goal helps Tech women tie VCU
August 28, 2005

Box score Hokies 1, Rams 1 (2 ot)
BLACKSBURG, Va. - Sophomore Ashley Stinson (Acworth, Ga.) scored her first goal of the season, while junior Mallory Soldner (Lanesville, Ind.) made five saves as the Virginia Tech women's soccer team played to a 1-1 tie with Virginia Commonwealth University, Sunday.Stinson's goal, a tip in from five feet off a Shannon Poach (Chesapeake, Va.) corner kick, gave the Hokies a 1-0 lead with 33 seconds remaining in the first half. Poach, a senior midfielder, drove the ball from the far corner to the front of the goal, where Stinson beat VCU keeper Emily Niman low to the far side.

Last year, Stinson led the team with a school-record 17 goals, en route to becoming the first All-American in Tech history.

However, the Rams would answer with just under two minutes remaining in the second half. Pernilla Jansson knocked in a Hedda Gardsjord cross into the Hokie net for the equalizer at 88:12.

"We had chances to win the game today. We can't expect our defense to continue to hold leads without putting away some of our clear chances, and we had clear chances even through the overtime periods," Virginia Tech head coach Kelly Cagle said. "That being said, I have no doubt that this team is capable of learning from this experience and putting it to use throughout the season. I also know that our goal scoring will come. We have too much talent for that not to happen!"

The Hokies, who entered the weekend ranked seventh in the Mid-Atlantic Region according to Soccer Buzz, seemed to have the upper hand for most of the contest. Tech out-shot the Rams, ranked fifth in the region, 13-9 in the match and forced the VCU goalkeeper into making nine saves.

"I thought our depth would work in our favor today, but perhaps there were too many substitutions which may have prevented us from really keeping a good rhythm," Cagle said. "As a coach, I need to do a better job of using our depth and allowing our players the time to get themselves played into the game. We have greater depth than we ever have had before. Now it is my job to use that depth wisely."

Tech's goalkeeper, Soldner, held the team together at times, thwarting a handful of scoring opportunities with five saves. This was the Hokies' first tie since playing to a 2-2 draw with East Carolina on Sept. 6, 2002.

"The true disappointment for me today was that we didn't show a lot of gamesmanship in the final minutes. When you are holding on to a lead against a team pressing you the way VCU did today you have to hold onto the ball, and we didn't do that," Cagle said.

"I am convinced we are going to find ourselves holding onto leads more so than we have in the past and we need to learn very quickly what it takes to earn the win."

Virginia Tech (1-0-1) will look to get back on the winning track with another non-conference match next Friday against No. 30 San Diego. The Hokies and Toreros will kick off at 5 p.m., in Winston-Salem, N.C., as part of the Wake Forest Invitational.