BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Freshman Murielle Tiernan’s close-range goal in the 14th minute proved to be enough for the Virginia Tech women’s soccer team, as the No. 4 Hokies earned a hard-fought 1-0 win over visiting Miami on Sunday afternoon.
Tech entered the match needing just a result to sew up a home match in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament next Sunday, but earned the full three points to maintain a hold on the third seed in the ACC as well.
“I’m proud of the girls and the effort they gave today,” Head Coach Chugger Adair said. “I think they worked hard and deserved the result. There are some things we should improve upon--we need to be sharper in the attacking third--but, at the end of the day, three points at home in the ACC is always a good thing.”
The Hokies opened the match on the attack, as they picked up two shots and two corner kicks within the first 10 minutes of play.
Tech’s third corner kick, in the 14th minute, would prove to be the decisive play. Junior Jodie Zelenky whipped in a low corner kick from the left side that found the foot of Tiernan six yards from goal. The freshman needed only a single touch, as she flicked home a shot with the outside of her right foot that slipped inside the left post and gave the Hokies the 1-0 lead.
For the remainder of the half, Tech controlled much of the possession and constantly put the Hurricanes on their heels with pace in the attacking half. Though they could not find a second goal, the Hokies owned a sizable advantage in both shots (7-2) and corner kicks (7-0) at the break.
Though there was no further scoring, the second half of the match was much more evenly matched. Miami outshot the Hokies after halftime by a 10-9 margin and forced a pair of saves out of senior goalkeeper Dayle Colpitts.
The Hokies had multiple opportunities to double their advantage, however, as Tech sent multiple dangerous crosses and shots into the box. Led by Tiernan’s four shots, seven Hokies tallied at least one shot on the day.
Colpitts tallied three saves en route to the victory. The win also marked Colpitts’ eighth shutout of the year, setting a new Virginia Tech record for shutouts in a single season.
Tara Schwitter took four shots on the day to pace the Hurricanes’ offense, while Emily Lillard recorded a trio of saves in the loss.
With the victory, Tech moves to 14-2-2 on the season, including a 9-2-1 mark in the ACC. The win also clinches a home match in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament on Sunday, November 3.
Miami falls to 8-8-1 in 2013, with a 3-8-1 record against conference foes.
Tech celebrated Senior Day prior to Sunday’s match, honoring the careers of their eight departing seniors: Kimberley Anderson, Emily Siegel, Taylor Antolino, Ashley Manning, Katie DeTuro, Jazmine Reeves, Dayle Colpitts and Kelly Conheeney.
“I’m extremely happy that this program has been blessed with this group of seniors,” Adair said. “It hasn’t just been the incredible quality they have on the field, but also the quality they have off the field, as great people and ambassadors for our program. They’re a great group of seniors who have always believed in putting the team above themselves."
The Hokies will next be in action on Thursday, October 31, when they wrap up regular season play in Charlottesville, Va. against No. 1-ranked Virginia. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday evening.
For updates on Virginia Tech women's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter (@VT_WSoccer).