BLACKSBURG, Va. -- The Virginia Tech women’s soccer team will welcome its second-straight nationally-ranked opponent to Thompson Field on Thursday, as it plays host to No. 19 Wake Forest in a crucial Atlantic Coast Conference matchup scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.
The Hokies sit in third place in the powerful ACC entering Thursday’s match, following a significant win four days ago.
Junior Ellie Zoepfl smashed home a goal in the 87th minute on Sunday afternoon, propelling the No. 10 Hokies to a thrilling 1-0 victory over No. 9 Notre Dame at Thompson Field. Zoepfl made a run into the box, found a cross from junior Shannon Mayrose and ripped a one-touch shot through the goalkeeper’s legs to lift Tech to a crucial three points.
Eleven different players have scored a total of 33 goals for the Hokies in 2013. Senior Jazmine Reeves and Meier have led the way so far, tallying seven goals each in the first 14 matches of the season. Freshman Murielle Tiernan has scored five goals to go with four assists, tied for most on the team with Reeves.
The Hokies are now 11-1-2 on the season, including a 6-1-1 mark in Atlantic Coast Conference play, after going undefeated in non-conference play for the second consecutive season. Tech is also yet to give up more than two goals in any match this season.
Tech’s efforts have propelled it into national rankings, as the Hokies sit at No. 6 in the NSCAA/Continental Tire Poll and Top Drawer Soccer’s National Top 25, as well as No. 7 the RPI rankings, released weekly by the NCAA.
Wake Forest enters Thursday’s match with an 8-3-2 record in 2013, including a 3-2-2 mark in the ACC. Last week, the Demon Deacons hosted No. 1 Virginia on Sunday afternoon, falling in a 2-0 decision.
Katie Stengel and Riley Ridgik have led Wake thus far on the year, as each has scored six goals. Stengel also leads the team with eight assists, but the former ACC Offensive Player of the Year is out indefinitely due to blood clots in her left leg. Four other players have scored goals for the Demon Deacons, led by Caroline Wooten and Ally Berry, who each have three.
Wake Forest holds a slight edge in the all-time series between the two sides, as the Hokies are just 4-5-2 against the Demon Deacons. Tech has held the recent edge, however, having not lost in any of the previous five matches. Last year, the Hokies traveled to Winston-Salem and downed Wake 3-0 on goals from Katie Yensen, Ashley Manning and Jazmine Reeves.
This is the first time in history that Tech has been ranked higher than Wake entering a match between the two.
With a win on Thursday, the Hokies would set a new program record for conference wins with seven. The previous best of six was set in 2009, when Tech finished 6-4-0 in the ACC and advanced to the Sweet 16.
Live stats will be available for Thursday’s match, which will be streamed live on ESPN3. SAAC will also be collecting cans of Chicken Noodle Soup at the gates. All donations will benefit Micah's Backpack.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WSoccer).