No. 5 Broncos knock off Tech
Two early goals doom Hokies
September 4, 2005

Box Score Santa Clara 3, Hokies 1
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. - No. 5 Santa Clara used a pair of goals in the first 11:13 of the match to down Virginia Tech, 3-1, in non-conference women's soccer action, Sunday at W. Dennie Spry Stadium.

"Even though we lost, I think this was the best soccer weekend we've had so far," Tech head coach Kelly Cagle said. "We competed against the No. 5 team in the country and played them pretty even.

"That being said, if we keep letting in the goals we have the last two matches, we're in for a long year."

The Broncos, who were ranked fifth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America preseason poll, scored on an own goal and a Jordan Angeli breakaway to take an early 2-0 lead.

With their backs to the wall, however, the Hokies fought back. True freshman Laurie Beth Puglisi (Arlington, Va.) scored her first collegiate goal. The 5-foot-10 freshman used her head to direct a Lindsay Alexander (Oakton, Va.) free kick into the net at 32:33 of the first half.

"We tinkered with that play in practice yesterday, trying to get another scoring option," Cagle said. "From a coaching standpoint, to see something that you worked on in practice executed so well is encouraging."

The Hokie goal was the first surrendered by the Broncos this season in more than 210 minutes of play. Alexander collected her third career assist on the scoring strike.

For the rest of the match, Tech tried desperately to gain the equalizer. The Hokies outplayed the higher-ranked team for much of the half. The Hokies held a 5-4 shot advantage, including a 3-0 edge in the final 22 minutes of the first half.

"We're competing with the best teams in the country," Cagle said. "That's something we haven't been able to do in previous years. I'm convinced that these experiences are going to make us a better team in the end."

Early in the second half, the Hokie defense withstood four corner kicks in a 10 minute span. Junior goalkeeper Mallory Soldner (Lanesville, Ind.) made a pair of saves in the flurry to keep the deficit at one. Soldner had three saves in the contest.

SCU put the game out of reach in the 79th minute on Marian Dalmy's unassisted goal.

"You can't afford to give a top team like Santa Clara a lead like we did," Cagle said. "We made some poor decisions in the box today, and it cost us."

The Hokies (1-2-1) will look to bounce back next weekend in Charleston, S.C. Tech will face the College of Charleston and Wofford as part of the C of C Tournament, beginning Friday evening.