Hokies conclude preseason action at Vanderbilt
    Final tune-up on Friday before Aug. 31 season opener at Radford
    August 23, 2007

    BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Tech women's soccer team will compete in its second and final exhibition match of the preseason at 5 p.m. on Friday at the Vanderbilt Soccer Complex in Nashville, Tenn. Live stats will be available on http://vucommodores.cstv.com/sports/w-soccer/vand-w-soccer-body.html

    Scouting Report: Vanderbilt
    Vanderbilt enters the game ranked ninth in the Soccer Buzz preseason Central Region poll after finishing ninth in the region's final 2006 season poll with a record of 10-4-7. The squad reached the NCAA Tournament last year, losing in the first round after a shootout to Atlantic Coast Conference member Clemson.

    Six starters return to the Commodores, helping to earn the No. 3 spot in the Eastern Division of the Southeastern Conference's preseason poll.

    The Commodores also earned other preseason accolades by Soccer Buzz , including a 2007 freshman class ranked first in the Central Region and ninth in the nation.

    The match against the Hokies is the only exhibition game for Vanderbilt before the season opener.

    Exhibition Season Opens
    Virginia Tech opened the 2007 season with an exhibition match at home against Miami University. The Hokies scored early and often in the 5-0 shutout over the Redhawks in Virginia Tech Soccer Stadium last Friday night. The two squads competed in three 30-minute halves instead of the two 45-minute halves.

    Julian Johnson, Mary Elizabeth Newton, Emily Jukich and Laurie Beth Puglisi scored the first four goals in the first period with Jukich scoring her second goal of the match off an assist from Puglisi in the third period.

    Ashley Owens played at the goalie position in the first and third periods and made two saves. Stephanie Balanoff helped preserve the shutout playing the entire second period.

    The Hokies ended the night with 24 shots against just five from the Redhawks.

    In the Preseason Polls
    The Hokies were picked to finish eighth out of 11 schools in the Atlantic Coast Conference by the league's head coaches in the annual preseason poll. Last season, the ACC sent seven teams to the NCAA Tournament and two schools to the NCAA College Cup.

    Soccer Buzz ranks Virginia Tech ninth out of 47 schools in its annual top-15 Mid-Atlantic Region preseason poll, which was released earlier this week. The women will be facing a demanding schedule this year as seven opponents are ranked in the top-30 national preseason poll with four squads in the top-15. Four other opponents are ranked along with Tech in the Mid-Atlantic region poll.

    However, despite the challenges that lay ahead, the Hokies will have the advantage of hosting six of those teams at Virginia Tech Stadium, including non-conference opponent No. 24 Tennessee and ACC rivals No. 1 North Carolina, No. 8 Florida State and No. 13 Boston College.

    Tech returns this season with 10 starters and will be bolstered with an incoming class of highly talented freshmen. The group ranked No. 34 on Soccer Buzz's 2007 Top 100 Recruiting Classes and No. 5 in the Mid-Atlantic poll.

    Tech Records Watch
    As the season progresses, several Hokies have the opportunity to move up the Tech career-record holder charts. Senior Erin Moore has totaled 14 assists with the Hokies to currently hold the lead, but she is closely followed by sophomore Julian Johnson, who finished third last season after setting an individual single-season assist record with 12. Johnson is currently tied with Jessica Myers (2000-03) and one behind Emily Barnhart (2000-03) at second.

    Junior Laurie Beth Puglisi currently sits at eighth on the same list with eight assists, but she also has an opportunity to move up in other charts after leading the team last year in points with 21 off seven goals and seven assists. She currently holds the ninth position in career points with 32 and needs only 16 to move past Victoria Sarfo-Kantanka (1998-2001) for second. Barnhart holds the most with 61 points total. Puglisi also can move up in the goals category. Currently 10th with 12 goals, she will only need 13 goals within two years to surpass Barnhart, who leads with 24.

    2006 Postseason Awards
    Several Hokies were honored at the end of the 2006 season for their accomplishments on and off the field. Puglisi became just the fourth Hokie ever to earn All-Mid-Atlantic Region honors (third team). She was also named to the ACC All-Academic Team along with seniors Heather Hallberg and Ashley Kinser. Johnson made her mark last year, leading the ACC in assists per game (0.67) and finishing tied for third overall in the same category in the NCAA. She earned ACC All-Freshman and Mid-Atlantic Region All-Freshman honors for her success.
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