COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Virginia Tech women's soccer team was knocked from the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, as the Dayton Flyers avenged last season's second round game with a 3-0 victory at the Ohio State campus. Allison Giner and Colleen Williams led the way for the Flyers, who the Hokies topped 3-1 in the 2009 NCAA Tournament, with three points each in the match.
"We are all proud to be Hokies today," head coach Kelly Cagle said after the match. "We really appreciate all of the work our seniors put in and the leadership they have provided. I'm really proud of the way this team has played and the way it has fought all season. It has been faced with numerous challenges and never feared a bump in the road."
The Flyers (19-3-0) paced play in the opening minutes of the game, but the Hokies (10-10-1) were able to find a rhythm early on as well, which allowed freshman Jazmine Reeves a few, close opportunities.
In the 10th minute Dayton took its first shot on goal as Giner struck after receiving the ball from Williams. Giner's shot seemed to be saved by freshman keeper Dayle Colpitts, but was eventually too much to handle as it slipped out of the hands of the leaping goalie.
Strong play by the Hokie defense and aggressive ball-winning by senior leader Jennifer Harvey kept Tech alive through the remainder of the half and allowed numerous opportunities for the offense.
The Hokies controlled much of the latter part of the first half, though Dayton nearly put another goal on the board after an attacking forward received a through ball and broke away from the crowd. She was quickly tracked down by a powering Kelly Lynch, who caught up with the Dayton player just as she was about to strike and broke the attempt up with a slide tackle to knock the ball out of bounds.
Just before the halftime break, Harvey went up for a ball in the air and suffered an injury on the play that eventually prevented her from returning. Through the battle, Tech was able to take the 12-3 shooting edge into the intermission, but just as slight 3-2 advantage on target.
"The way we played in the first half of this game was the best first 45 minutes we have played all year," Cagle said. "We fought hard, and credit to Dayton for making it tough, but we really played our most dynamic first 45 minutes. With all of those opportunities we created for ourselves, we couldn't recover from not taking advantage of those chances in the first half."
Back-and-forth play would open the second half and despite Tech taking four early corner kicks, the Flyers had their opportunities as well, nearly scoring just under ten minutes in. Williams was again the attacker for Dayton, firing from 12 yards out, but Colpitts dove right to make the save with her finger tips and recovered the loose ball which remained in bounds.
In the 75th minute the Flyers inched closer to victory when Giner crossed the ball from the right side of the field to Tori Oelschlager, who headed it into the opposite side of the net.
Three minutes later Dayton took the 3-0 lead when Stephanie Emery made a quick backwards pass to a nearby Williams, who then struck straight ahead from close range.
Reeves finished the game with a career-high eight shots.
Though Dayton controlled much of the second half, the Hokies finished the game outshooting the Flyers 20-7 on the night and kept a 7-6 advantage on goal.
Colpitts finished the evening with two saves, while Dayton's Lisa Rodgers tallied seven saves in the match.
This is the third time in program history the Hokies have been bounced from the NCAA Tournament in the first round, as well as the team's first loss to an Atlantic 10 team since falling to the Flyers, 2-1, in September of 2004. This was also the fifth time this season the Hokies have been held scoreless and the second time in NCAA Tournament play.
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