BLACKSBURG, Va. - The Virginia Tech women’s soccer team dropped a 3-1 decision to the No. 11 Aggies of Texas A&M Friday night in the second game of the Hawthorn Suites Hokie Invitational. No. 17 Wake Forest knocked off George Washington, 2-0, in the opening match of the tournament.
The Hokies looked to use the momentum garnered from last weekend’s two victories against Evansville and George Mason to challenge perennial power A&M. Coming into 2008, the Aggies have won four consecutive Big 12 regular season titles and are currently ranked 11th in the nation according to the NSCAA/adidas poll.
Tech and A&M traded shots early on in the first half with the Hokies tallying three shots on goal compared to just one from the Aggies. The Hokies' first scoring opportunity came fifteen minutes into the first half when sophomore Marika Gray’s shot was barely deflected wide of the goal by A&M keeper, Kelly Dyer. Dyer made another athletic save two minutes later to stop sophomore Kelsey Billups’ shot from finding the back corner of the net.
Texas A&M struck first as junior Cydne Curry put the Aggies up 1-0 in the 27th minute. Freshman Rebecca Herrera led Curry with a pass through two Hokie defenders to give her an open look at the goal. Even though Tech starting keeper Ashley Owens crept off her line to narrow the angle, Curry nailed a shot to the far corner, past an out-stretched Owens. Herrara picked up the assist while the goal was Curry’s third of the season.
Undaunted by the deficit, Virginia Tech evened the score at one-all on a goal by Gray. Once again, Gray provided a much needed offensive spark for the Hokies as she beat two defenders to pick up her third goal of the season.
The two teams entered the second half tied at 1-1 and the match seemed headed for overtime until A&M senior Laura Robinson received a pass from freshman Beth West and fired a shot to the corner of the net in the 68th minute. Owens tipped the incoming shot, but the ball hit the post and bounced into the back of the net, giving the Aggies a 2-1 advantage.
A Tech ‘own goal’ five minutes later would seal the victory for visiting A&M as the Hokies were unable to score the remainder of the game.
Virginia Tech returns to action Sunday, Sept. 7 against the George Washington Colonials at 1:30 p.m. in the final match of the 2008 Hawthorn Suites Invitational. The Wake Forest Demon Deacons face Texas A&M at 11 a.m. on Sunday in a battle of two nationally-ranked teams.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WSoccer).