BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech women’s soccer team returned home in a big way as it topped the Villanova Wildcats 4-1 in the Hilton Garden Hokie Invitational. Senior midfielder Jennifer Harvey led the way for the Hokies with two goals, while Candace Ruff was the scorer for the Wildcats.
Even play would open the game but Villanova (2-4-0) was able to capitalize early, sinking its first shot of the game as Ruff rose above the masses and headed in a corner from Taylor Houck in the sixth minute.
The goal sparked the Hokie offense and despite having a goal called back due to offsides, Tech (4-3-0) was able to tie things up in the 18th minute when Harvey flew through the air and flicked in a short corner, served in from sophomore Kelsey Mitchell.
Senior Kelsey Billups found the back of the net ten minutes later after fellow senior Marika Gray pushed the ball up the field and crossed it behind her to the opposite side of the field for a leaning Billups, who got her left foot on it and slid it under the keeper to give Tech the 2-1 lead going into the halftime break.
In the 51st minute lent a helping hand again after receiving the ball just past the midfield line and placed it up ahead for Gray. Running full speed ahead, Gray controlled the ball and slipped it to the right when faced with a one-on-one with the Wildcats’ keeper.
After a slight lull in offense, the Hokies, and Harvey, struck again. Tech went up 4-1 in the 69th minute when a high-flying Harvey again got her head on a short corner that was served in by Mitchell.
Tech is now 2-0 at home this season after out-shooting the Wildcats 17-3 in the match, 12-2 on target.
Freshman Dayle Colpitts made the start for the Hokies, as well as one save, but was relieved in the 85th minute by senior Rebekah Brook. Kelsey Quinn made her first start of the season for the Wildcats and made eight saves in the game.
The Hokies return to the pitch for the final day of the Hilton Garden Hokie Invitational, as they will face Vanderbilt on Sunday, Sept. 12 at 2 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WSoccer).