BLACKSBURG, Va. – The past three matches between Virginia Tech and Maryland all ended in overtime, and Sunday night’s contest at Thompson Field almost continued the trend as neither team netted a goal till the waning minutes. Emily Jukich’s score with 1:32 left on the clock sent Tech past a talented Terrapin squad and improved the Hokies’ record to 9-5-2 overall and 3-2-2 in the conference. With three ACC matches remaining, Tech has already tied its number of conference victories from a season ago, while Maryland slipped to 5-9-1 overall and 1-6-0 in the conference.
Even though both teams average over 15 shots per game, the match turned out to be a defensive battle in the first half as Maryland and Tech combined for seven shots in the opening 45 minutes. Maryland leading scorer Kaila Sciascia had the best look for the Terrapins in the first period, firing a shot from within the Hokie box just wide of the upper corner. Tech’s defense buckled down after the scare and only allowed the Terrapins one other scoring opportunity before halftime.
The Hokies tallied five shots in the first half, but none came closer to finding the back of the net than junior Robin Chidester’s at the 36:11 mark. A breakdown in the Maryland defense left Chidester alone at the top of the Terp box, and Jukich slid her the ball for the open look. However, Maryland’s keeper, Mary Casey, made a strong save diving to block Chidester’s open shot and kept Tech off the board.
The second frame started off much like the first with both teams combing for three shots in the opening 25 minutes. Maryland had a couple of opportunities in the second half, but sent two shots high over the crossbar and the score remained knotted at 0-0. Chidester once again almost broke the stalemate in the 81st minute, but her strong shot from 20 yards out deflected off the crossbar.
Overtime seemed a certainty as the clock ticked down to the 88th minute. Jukich gave her team the lead with 1:32 left in the match on a shot from eight yards out. The Clifton, Va., native is now in sole possession of the second highest single-season goal total in Tech history. Maryland was unable to respond in the limited time remaining, and the Hokies captured their third victory in their last four matches.
On the season, the Tech defense has now registered seven shutouts. Starting Hokie keeper Kristin Carden blanked the her fourth opponent of her rookie season while making a save during Sunday’s contest. Maryland’s Chase was forced to make three saves on the night and allowed the lone goal of the match.
The Hokies now have three games remaining in the regular season. Virginia Tech travels to Boston College on Sunday, Oct. 26 for a 2 p.m. match against the Eagles. In 2007, the Hokies upset then-No. 10 Boston College, 3-0, on senior day to secure the program’s second winning season. The Hokies then host Wake Forest on Thursday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m. at 7 p.m. before taking on the Duke Blue Devils on senior day on Sunday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m.
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