November 13, 2009
Hokies top Murray State 2-0, earn first Tournament victory
Gray, Harvey score as Tech advances to second round
DAYTON, Ohio - The No. 17 Hokies claimed their first NCAA Tournament victory in program history as they took down Murray State, 2-0, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament Friday evening. This is just the third post season win (including conference tournaments) for the Hokies in three appearances and the first time they have ever advanced to the second round of the Tournament. Juniors Marika Gray and Jennifer Harvey were the goal scorers in the match, each netting the first postseason goals of their careers while sophomore keeper Kristin Carden earned her second shutout of this year's postseason and her first ever in the Tournament.
The first half began with back-and-forth play as each team possessed the ball evenly until the 13th minute when the Hokies (15-7-0) broke the game open. Senior forward Julian Johnson had the ball on the right side of the field and served it into the middle where Gray had an open look at the net. She took one touch and fired the ball into the back of the right side of the goal. This was Gray's eighth score of the season and Johnson's seventh assist.
The goal sparked the Hokie offense as they would take the advantage in possession and eventually out-shoot the Racers (11-9-2) 7-2 in the half, 3-0 on goal. Freshman Kelly Conheeney would come close to scoring minutes later and Stephanie Hylton just after that.
Tech was able to tack on one more before the halftime break as Emily Jukich was taken down in the box and the foul awarded the Hokies a penalty kick. Harvey would take the penalty kick and remain a perfect 5-5 on the year as she buried the ball to put Tech ahead, 2-0, at the end of the first period.
The Hokies' attacking surge would continue into the second half as they possessed the ball for most of the half, coming close on numerous occasions but they were unable to add on anymore scores. Tech finished the match out-shooting the Racers 18-4 and 8-0 on goal.
Carden, Tech's keeper, was not forced to make any saves on the day but earned her first shutout in Tournament play. The Racers' keeper Tara Isbell Made six saves in the match, facing 18 shots.
The Hokies will be back in action on Sunday, Nov. 15 and face Dayton. The Flyers advanced on penalty kicks after drawing 0-0 with Marquette. Sunday's second-round match will begin at 1 p.m. and be played at Baujan Field on the University of Dayton Campus.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WSoccer).