August 31, 2008
Tech shuts out George Mason 2-0
Balanced offensive attack leads Hokies to victory
BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Tech Hokies used two quick goals midway through the second half to dispel the George Mason Patriots, 2-0, on Sunday night at Sandra D. Thompson Field.
Despite outshooting the Patriots, 11-0, in the first half, Virginia Tech was unable score and the two teams entered halftime tied, 0-0. Tech had several scoring opportunities but was turned away by the outstanding play of Mason keeper, Kelly Keelan. Keelan, who typically plays forward for the Patriots, started her first game in net and tallied six saves in the first half and nine for the match.
Virginia Tech continued to control the ball early in the second half and nearly scored on a shot from sophomore Marika Gray in the 56th minute. Gray had snuck behind the Mason defense and took a shot to the opposite corner of the net, but the ball ricocheted off the post and the Patriots escaped unscathed.
Ten minutes later, Mason would not be as fortunate. In the 66th minunte, Tech pushed the ball forward to Junior Julian Johnson, who then delivered a pass through George Mason's defense to a streaking Gray. Gray eluded two defenders and fired a shot to the back of the net to give Tech the, 1-0, lead. The goal was Gray's second game-winner on the weekend as the sophomore from Alexandria, Va., also scored the go-ahead goal against Evansville on Friday night. In addition, Johnson picked up her second assist on the season and the 19th of her career.
Less than three minutes later, the Tech offense would strike again. Gray drilled a corner kick inside the Mason box, which senior Laurie Beth Puglisi flipped to junior Emily Jukich. Jukich in turn headed the ball into the Mason goal, giving Tech a comfortable, 2-0, lead with less than 23 minutes to play.
The Patriots never threatened the rest of the way and the Hokie defense had a solid night, limiting Mason to just four shots for the entire match. Redshirt senior Ashley Owens started in goal for Tech. She made two saves en route to earning her first shutout of the season.
The Hokies return to action this weekend as they host the Hawthorn Suites Invitational on Friday, Sept. 5 and Sunday, Sept. 7. Wake Forest and George Washington will open the tournament at 3:30 p.m. on Friday before Tech takes on Texas A&M at 6 p.m. Wake Forest then faces A&M on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. and the Hokies close the invitational with a match against George Washington at 1:30 p.m. All games will be played at Sandra D. Thompson Field.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WSoccer).