BLACKSBURG, Va. – The No. 15 Virginia Tech women’s soccer team defeated American, 3-0, in their home opener. Sophomore Kelly Conheeney led the way for the Hokies with two scores, while Jennifer Harvey added the third.
Tech set a new single-game record after taking 22 corner kicks in the match, knocking out the old mark of 16, which was set in 2007. The victory also moved the Hokies to 2-0 on the year, which marks the first time the team has opened a season with two victories since 2004.
The Hokies dominated play right out of the gate, taking four corner kicks in the first six minutes of the game. After six attempts at the net, Tech broke through and buried its first goal of the game, eleven and a half minutes in. Senior Marika Gray pushed the ball up the left side of the field, bringing it all the way to the endline, with pressure from an American (0-2-0) defender for the latter part of the run. With field space ahead diminishing, Gray was able to lift the ball past the defender and approaching keeper, placing it right in front of the open net for a quick hit from Conheeney, speedily crashing towards the net.
Just over a minute later, the Hokies were at it again. Conheeney took a hard shot that was blocked by American’s keeper, Lindsey Farthing, who could not hold on to it but was able to recover and save the follow-up power shot from Gray.
In the 28th minute, freshman Jazmine Reeves was fouled inside the 18-yard box and Tech was awarded a penalty kick opportunity. The go-to in the clutch, Harvey, was able to carry on her success under pressure from a season ago and sunk her first penalty kick of the year.
The Hokies took four more corners in the half, after the second goal, and out-shot their opponent 17-0 in the first 45 minutes of play.
The second half began in similar fashion to the game, with five corner kicks in the first ten minutes. Though Tech slowed its attack a little in the second half, the Hokies were in constant possession of the ball despite occasional attempts by the Eagles to run their own offense.
In the 82nd minute the Hokies were finally able to tack on one more goal, after numerous quality attempts on net. Redshirt-sophomore Amanda Gerhard took a powerful shot on goal that ricocheted off of a falling Farthing and back into play, again leaving a wide-open net for Conheeney to knock in her second goal of the game and third of the year.
Conheeney had a career-tying night against the Eagles as her six shots and five shots on goal tied her previous personal bests from last season, while she also scored multiple goals in a game for the second time in her career.
Farthing finished the match with a whopping 11 saves on the day, as the Eagles were out-shot 29-0 in the game. Freshman goalkeeper Dayle Colpitts made her second-career start but again was unable to make a save due to the aggressive defensive unit in front of her, though she did earn her first-career shutout.
Tech returns to action this weekend, as the team will travel all the way to College Station, Texas, to participate in the Aggieland Classic. The Hokies will face the host, No. 8 Texas A&M on Friday, Aug. 27 at 9 p.m. ET, and later take on Long Beach State on Sunday, Aug. 29, at 11:30 a.m. ET.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WSoccer).