CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia Tech women’s soccer team advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 3-1 upset over the third-seeded Texas A&M Aggies Friday evening at Klockner Stadium in the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Brittany Popko, Kelly Conheeney and Shannon Mayrose all connect on goals for Tech.
The Hokies improve to 14-7-1 on the season, while the Aggies finished the season with a 16-6-2 record.
This is the second time in program history that the Hokies have advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament. In 2009, Tech made it to the Sweet 16 earning its first Tournament victories over Murray State (2-0) and Dayton (3-1).
“It was a tremendous effort tonight for the girls,” commented first-year head coach Chugger Adair. “It was a well-deserved win and we controlled a lot of the match and came out strong at the beginning of the game.”
The Hokies came out strong defensively in the first, but Texas A&M’s Kelley Monogue took the first shot of the half two minutes in that went wide. Tech followed with three corner kicks in the next two minutes.
The Hokies kept attacking the goal, recording three more corners before Popko put the first point on the board with a header off a corner kick taken from Loupee at the 16:22 mark. This is the senior’s first goal of the season, while Kelsey Loupee notched her seventh assist on the year.
Back-and-forth play continued before Conheeney answered with the second goal of the game with a one timer off a cross from Jazmine Reeves at the 31:37 mark. Conheeney’s 12th goal of the season put the Hokies up 2-0 going into the break.
The Aggies outshot the Hokies 7-3 in the first, while Tech out-cornered Texas A&M 7-2. Monogue led both teams with four shots. In goal for the Hokies, Colpitts stopped three shots.
The last time Tech put two points on the board in the first half was on Oct. 13 in the 3-0 win over Clemson.
“The girls played wonderful the first half,” noted Adair. “It was great to be up 2-0 at halftime and set a good tone for the game. It got a little bit crazy in the second half but we made some adjustments and picking up that third goal was great for us.”
Both teams came out very aggressive in the second, trading two fouls apiece five minutes in. The Hokies sat back most of the half to defend well. Tech’s back line played extremely well flushing a lot of balls out of the box.
At the 70:07 mark, freshman Katie Yensen sent a cross into the box where Mayrose beat the keeper to head in a high ball to the far corner to put the Hokies up 3-0. Two minutes later, the Aggies responded with a corner kick from Beth West that Nora Skelton keeps in the air and Meghan Streight headed one past Colpitts.
Texas A&M continued to pressure taking two corners and four shots in the last 20 minutes but was not enough to put points on the board.
The Aggies outshot the Hokies 13-5, while the Hokies out-cornered Texas A&M 8-6. Kelley Monogue led both teams with seven shots, while Brittany Popko led Tech with three and one on goal.
Colpitts recorded the win for the Hokies, improving to 9-6-1 on the season, while Jordan Day recorded the loss ending the season with a 13-6-2 record. Colpitts picked up five saves on the night and Day stopped two.
“The girls battled and did what they had to do to win, so it was a great night for Virginia Tech women’s soccer,” said Adair.
Tech will have a day to prepare for a 1 p.m. rematch against ACC opponent Virginia on Sunday at Klockner Stadium. The two teams faced in the regular season, as the Cavaliers won 4-0 on Oct. 20.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WSoccer).