BLACKSBURG, Va. - The fifth-ranked Virginia Tech women’s soccer team opens the 2014 season tomorrow night against VCU.
Coming off of the best season in program history, the expectations are high for this year’s squad. When last season began, the Hokies were unranked and picked to finish ninth in the ACC, but in Chugger Adair’s third season at the helm of Virginia Tech, the team went 19-5-3 to break the record for wins in a season, earn a number-one seed in the NCAA tournament, appear in the NCAA Women’s College Cup and finish the season ranked fourth in the country.
This season both the NSCAA and the Soccer America preseason rankings placed the Hokies at No. 5 and Topdrawersoccer.com put them at No. 6. Additionally, the preseason ACC coaches’ poll predicted that the team would finish fourth in the ACC.
Three starters graduated last spring, but the entire starting midfield returns with yet another year of experience under their belt and nearly all the defense comes back. Up front, Sophomore Murielle Tiernan, who tied for the team-lead in points (27) and goals (11) last season, is ready to add to her record-breaking freshman goal tally.
Midfield junior Ashley Meier has earned the respect of the soccer nation as she has been named to the preseason All-ACC Team, the topdrawersoccer.com Best XI Third Team and the Soccer America Preseason All-America Team.
Last week, the Hokies participated in an exhibition match against Marshall where Tech won 4-0 off of four different goal scorers.
VCU enters the match coming off of an 8-8-3 season last year, losing in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Championships. The coaches in the conference picked the Rams to finish third this season in a preseason poll.
They played two exhibition games in preseason. On Aug. 13, they earned a 1-0 victory over VMI before travelling to Virginia on Aug. 18 where they fell 5-0.
They are led by senior forward Maren Johansen who netted five goals last season and has appeared in 62 games, starting all but five. Recently, she was named to the A-10’s preseason all-conference team.
Tech has faced VCU six times in program history, holding a 4-1-1 advantage in the series, having never lost at home. Their last meeting was in 2009 where Tech held the 4-3 overtime advantage.
The game is slated for 7 p.m. at Thompson Field and admission is free for all fans.
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