BLACKSBURG, Va. – Senior forward Ashley Manning scored a pair of goals to lead the Virginia Tech women’s soccer team to a 7-1 home rout of High Point on Friday evening in both teams’ 2013 season opener.
Manning, who scored four goals in 2012, was one of six Hokies to find the back of the net on the evening, a group that included a pair of freshman.
“Anytime you score seven goals in a game, that’s obviously a good thing,” Head Coach Chugger Adair said. “Getting our first win of the season was important, so this was a really good start for us.”
At the opening of the match, both teams exchanged control before the Hokies seized the momentum. After finding the right post with a shot in the fifth minute, senior Jazmine Reeves opened the scoring in the 13th minute, picking up a perfectly weighted through-ball from sophomore Ashley Meier and firing a shot just inside the far post to put the Hokies up 1-0.
Meier took it upon herself to double Tech’s lead just four minutes later after a quick bit of passing in the midfield. Reeves and freshman Murielle Tiernan exchanged a quick give-and-go before Tiernan released a streaking Meier free into the box with a pass. Meier took a touch and finished with aplomb to give the Hokies a 2-0 lead.
Manning came off the bench midway through the first half and made an immediate impact, scoring the first of her two goals in the 30th minute. The senior picked up a loose ball on the left line, cut inside and fired a shot from 15 yards that made the score 3-0 in favor of Tech.
Manning completed her brace just six minutes later, receiving a pass from junior Katie Yensen and finishing to the far post after a single touch. The Hokies took the 4-1 lead into halftime, holding a 14-2 advantage in shots.
The Hokies struck again shortly after halftime, as an in-stride Tiernan volleyed home a cross from junior Danielle King to put Tech up 5-0 in the 52nd minute. The goal was the first of Tiernan’s collegiate career.
In the 59th minute, King made the score 6-0 from long range. The junior lofted a ball into the box from 40 yards out that took a bounce and floated untouched into the top-right corner of the net.
High Point pulled one back off a set piece in the 73rd minute, as freshman Jill Graff got her head to a corner kick from freshman Marissa Sullivan and nodded the ball into the top of the net to make the score 6-1.
Freshman Katherine Colevas finished the scoring in the 79th minute when she came out of a scramble with possession and took a touch around the onrushing goalkeeper. Colevas managed to squeeze off a shot just before a defender arrived and notched her first collegiate goal on the open net.
Although the Hokies saw a number of additional chances, the score remained 7-1 until match’s end. Tech finished the match with a 22-5 advantage in shots, putting 11 of their 22 attempts on frame.
“Putting the ball in the back of the net is great and I’m really happy with that aspect of things,” Adair said. “I felt like we were a little slow out of the chute in terms of our possession and our speed of play; it took us a little while to find our rhythm. I’d like for us to work on that and build on that as we head into Sunday’s game and into the season.”
Senior goalkeeper Dayle Colpitts made a pair of saves for the Hokies over the course of her 63 scoreless minutes in goal. The victory was the 28th of Colpitts’ career, moving her into a tie for the most goalkeeper wins in Virginia Tech history.
Sophomore Caroline Kelly tallied a save for the Hokies after coming on for Colpitts, while High Point goalkeeper Jesse May registered four saves for the Panthers.
With the win, the Hokies move to 1-0 on the season, while the Panthers fall to 0-1. Tech will be back at Thompson Field on Sunday evening, as it takes on East Tennessee State in a 6 p.m. match.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WSoccer).