WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – In their opening match of the Wake Forest Tournament, the Virginia Tech women’s soccer team defeated No. 21 Cal State Fullerton 3-0.
After two consecutive weekends at home, Tech hit the road for the Winston-Salem, N.C., and faced their second top 25 opponent in the last three matches in Fullerton. After dropping a 3-1 decision to No. 11 Texas A&M, Tech’s fortune reversed against the Titans as the team picked up a definitive victory.
The Hokies scored their first goal of the game in the 14th minute. Junior Emily Jukich received a pass from redshirt freshman Stephanie Hylton near the top of the box. She then placed a shot over the advancing Fullerton keeper into the left corner of the net. The goal was Jukich's fourth of the season while Hylton picked up her second assist in as many games.
Neither team scored in the remainder of the opening frame and Tech entered in the intermission with a 1-0 lead.
Virginia Tech came out firing after halftime and tallied three shots, two on goal, in the first five minutes of the second half. After being out-shot by the Titans, 6-5, in the first half, Tech fired twelve shots in the final 45 minutes to take a 17-11 shot advantage over Fullerton for the match.
The Hokies’ offensive intensity paid off as Hylton recorded her first goal of the season, and also of her career, off a penalty kick in the 53rd minute.
Although Tech held a 2-0 advantage with less than 15 minutes to play, the Hokies refused to give Fullerton any hope of a comeback. Twenty-three minutes after Hylton’s score, another Hokie scored the first goal of her career. Sophomore Niki King received a long pass from Tech starting keeper Kristin Carden and broke away from the Titan defense. With only the Fullerton keeper left to beat, King took advantage of the one-on-one situation and drilled a shot into the goal from 12 yards out.
A three goal margin was more than enough for the Hokie defense, which did not allow a Fullerton shot for the remaining 12 minutes.
After shutting out George Washington in her first collegiate start, freshman Carden received the nod in goal again for the Hokies. She turned in a strong performance, making five saves for her second straight shutout. The rookie picked up the first assist, a rare offensive statistic for a keeper, of her young career on the goal by King.
Tech takes the field again on Sunday, Sept. 14 in their second game of the Wake Forest Tournament against Charlotte at 11 a.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WSoccer).