BLACKSBURG, Va. – The Virginia Tech women’s soccer team battled back and put together a strong second half surge to lift itself past James Madison, 3-2, in overtime. Senior Kelsey Billups scored the game-winner, while freshmen Jazmine Reeves and Ashley Manning each put away their first-career goals. For the Dukes, Teresa Ryneir and Jessica Barndt were the point earners.
This was the second-straight overtime match for the Hokies after taking Vanderbilt to extra time on Sunday. This was also the second-straight overtime game against James Madison and the fifth of the 15-game all-time series.
Tech (5-3-0) dominated early in the match, attacking right away and controlling the ball. As the half went on, back-and-forth play ensued and the Dukes (3-4-0) fought the Hokies for possession. Tech took a hit midway through the first period when key players Brittany Michels and Jennifer Harvey collided in the air and were forced to leave the game due to injury, but continued to fight and entered the break in a scoreless tie. Neither injury was serious, though only Michels reappeared on the field in the second half.
Five minutes into the second half, a costly foul in the box would award the Dukes a penalty kick opportunity and Ryneir was able to put it away and give her team the 1-0 lead.
Just over a minute later James Madison struck again after Corrina Strickland lobbed a corner kick in for Barndt, who turned with the ball and was able to put it in the open, opposite side of the net for the 2-0 lead.
Continuing to attack, patience helped the Hokies collect themselves after the two-goal rally and chase a score of their own to get back in the game.
In the 72nd minute, Tech was granted a free kick after a James Madison foul. Sophomore Kelly Conheeney took the kick and placed it near the far-side goalpost. In traffic, Manning was able to get a hold of the ball and slip it in, just past the nearby keeper, to put the Hokies on the board.
After checking into the game in the 84th minute, Reeves went right to work and got a head on another Conheeney free kick, putting away the equalizer just more than a minute later.
With three minutes remaining in the match, senior defender Kelly Lynch made a critical save for the Hokies as she chased down James Madison’s Amalya Clayton, who set herself up for a two-on-one with Lynch and the keeper. She pushed the ball up the field, but Lynch made a clean tackle near the top of the 18’, which sent the ball towards the left side of the field and was cleared away by the goalie.
Play would remain mostly in the middle of the field for the final ticks of regulation and a golden-goal overtime period was again upon Thompson Field.
Five minutes into the new period, Billups came up with the ball towards the top left side of the 18-yard box. She quickly took it away from traffic and back to the middle, where she found an open look at the net and buried the ball for the win.
Freshman Dayle Colpitts made three saves on the night, while Diane Wszalek finished the game with four.
The Hokies will remain at home as they begin conference play next week. Tech will host nationally ranked Virginia on Thursday, Sept. 23 at 7 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WSoccer).