September 14, 2008
Puglisi scores two goals against Charlotte
Second half rally propels Tech to 5-1 win

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – After defeating No. 21 Cal State Fullerton 3-0 on Friday night, Virginia Tech concluded the Wake Forest Tournament with a match against the Charlotte 49ers. After being shut out in the first half, the Tech offense came alive for five goals in the second frame for the 5-1 victory.

The Hokies and the 49ers played an even opening 20 minutes, tied at four shots each. Tech had a chance to score in the early going as the Hokies were rewarded a free kick just outside the 49er box. Redshirt freshman Stephanie Hylton fired the ball to the bottom left corner of the net, but a diving Charlotte keeper blocked the shot.

In the 41st minute, Charlotte freshman Oni Bernard received a pass through the Tech defense, resulting in a one-on-one situation with Hokie starting keeper, freshman Kristin Carden. Carden charged off her line, but the Charlotte forward was able to dribble past the outstretched rookie and Bernard touched the ball into the net from six yards out.

The Hokies edged Charlotte in shots, 8-6, during the opening frame, but the 49ers took a 1-0 lead into the intermission.

Virginia Tech wasted little time evening the score to start the second half. In the 47th minute, sophomore Marika Gray placed a corner kick deep into the box. Hylton touched the ball towards the net, but the 49er defense blocked the shot. However senior Laurie Beth Puglisi rifled the rebound into the top corner of the net and tied the score at one-all.

At the 53:10 mark, a Charlotte foul in the box resulted in a penalty kick for the Hokies. Puglisi nailed the shot into the bottom right corner of the net and gave Tech its first lead of the game. With the two goals, Puglisi moved into a tie with Kathy Holdsworth (2000-03) for fourth place on the Hokie career goals scored list with 19 goals in her four season at Tech.

Five minutes later, freshman Brittany Michels put Tech up 3-1 with her first career goal. The rookie deflected a pass from Puglisi past the 49er keeper. With the goal, Puglisi added an assist to total five points for the match.

Tech seemed to have notched a fourth goal on a shot by Gray a few minutes later, but an offside call negated the score.

Undaunted by the set back, Virginia Tech’s Emily Jukich gave the Hokies an official 4-1 lead with 11 minutes to play. The junior from Clifton, Va., recorded her team-leading fifth goal of the season, placing a loose ball in the 49er box past the opposing keeper.

Junior Julian Johnson also got in on the action, scoring her first goal of the season in the 88th minute. Sophomore Niki King picked up the assist after passing the ball to an open Johnson 12 yards from the goal.

Carden started in goal for the Hokies. She allowed just one goal while making six saves. Sophomore Jennifer Harvey joined Jukich, Puglisi and Carden on the All-Tournament team.

In the Hokies two victories over the weekend, five players scored their first goal of the season. Tech’s 18 goals in the first seven games are the most the team has scored to begin a season since the Hokies scored 23 goals in the first seven games to start the 2004 slate. The match was also the 100th of head coach Kelly Cagle’s tenure in Blacksburg. Cagle is now 45-45-10 with the Hokies.

Virginia Tech hosts James Madison on Sunday, Sept 21 in the Hokies’ final non-conference tune-up before diving into ACC action.

For updates on Virginia Tech women's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WSoccer).

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