HARRISONBURG, Va. -- The Virginia Tech women’s soccer team scored three goals in the second half to bounce back from an early deficit and earn a 3-1 road victory over James Madison on Sunday night.
The Hokies dominated possession for much of the opening half, tallying three shots in the opening 10 minutes. Freshman Murielle Tiernan fired a pair of shots within the first 16 minutes, including a threatening attempt after a smooth turn around a defender at the top of box.
Despite Tech’s control, JMU earned the first goal of the game against the run of play in the 24th minute. Sydney Braun-Mcleod controlled a through ball from Kelly Kerrigan with a dribble before firing a shot across goal that tucked itself inside the right post and put the Dukes up 1-0.
Although the Hokies continued to control possession throughout the first half, their best chance of the period came in the 41st minute. Senior Ashley Manning made a run past the defense and was met by the charging JMU goalkeeper. Manning took a touch around the keeper, but was dragged down, earning the defender a yellow card.
At the half, the score sheet showed evidence of Tech’s control. The Hokies had taken 10 shots and four corner kicks to JMU’s one of each.
The Hokies did not waste any time after the break in their efforts to erase the defecit on the scoreboard, earning a shot and a corner in the first four minutes.
Sophomore Ashley Meier finally broke through for Tech with her fourth goal of the season in the 51st minute. Tiernan was the catalyst, beating a defender and making a long run to the right corner. The freshman sent a cross in towards the six-yard line that Meier met in stride with her head, easily nodding the ball into the net to level the score at 1-1.
Despite the early goal, the two sides played a much more evenly-matched second half, as both teams saw good chances before the Hokies snapped the deadlock in the final minutes.
Tiernan notched the game-winner with just 5:55 seconds left, after senior Jazmine Reeves found junior Katie Yensen with a pass after beating a defender in from the left corner. Yensen picked out Tiernan at the top of the box and the freshman blasted a shot just inside the right post to give the Hokies a 2-1 lead.
The goal was Tiernan’s fifth in six collegiate matches.
Meier completed her brace and sealed the match in the 90th minute after Reeves intercepted a pass in the midfield and took off with just a defender to beat. The senior stopped her run and slotted a pass around the defender that Meier ran onto and finished to the far post.
With the score, Meier matched Tiernan's total with five goals in 2013, tying her for the team lead. This was the second match of the last three in which Meier has scored a pair of goals.
Senior goalkeeper Dayle Colpitts was only forced to make a single save to earn the win for Tech. Ellen Forrest tallied a pair of saves for JMU.
With the win, the Hokies move to 5-0-1 on the season. It marks the second consecutive season in which Tech has gone undefeated in nonconference play. The Dukes fell to 3-3 with the loss.
Tech will be back on the field on Thursday, September 12, when it welcomes No. 1 North Carolina to Thompson Field for the opening match of the Hokies’ ACC slate. The match is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WSoccer).