September 19, 2014
No. 2 Hokies shut out No. 17 Clemson in ACC opener
Tech extends winning streak to program-best 10 games with 2-0 victory
(17) Clemson (7-1-1) 000
(2) Virginia Tech (10-0-0) 112
  • Thompson Field - 2,173

BLACKSBURG - Goals from Shannon Mayrose and Ashley Meier lifted the second-ranked Virginia Tech women’s soccer team to a 2-0 win over No. 17 Clemson Friday night at Thompson Field. The ACC-opening win gave Tech its 10th-straight win, the longest winning streak in program history.

“Clemson is a good side and they are getting better and better every year,” head coach Chugger Adair said. “I was proud of the girls after they adjusted with going a man down and for how they played in the second half. They fought through adverse conditions tonight.”

In the highly anticipated ACC opener, both Tech (10-0-0) and Clemson (7-1-1) entered the game having finished their non-conference schedules undefeated. For the Hokies, the Tigers’ visit to Thompson Field marked one of their toughest opponents to date, and for the Tigers, this was their first ranked opponent this season.

With the ACC playoff format moving to only a four-time competition, compared to past year’s eight-team tournament, every ACC match is now more vital to a team’s postseason chance.

In front of a Thompson Field record crowd of 2,173 fans, the game began with lots of back and forth play before Tech scored its first goal in the 25th minute. Murielle Tiernan dribbled the ball around her defender from the outside wing towards the goal, before sending in a cross to Mayrose. The sixth-year senior finished the ball in front of the goal past diving Clemson keeper Kailen Sheridan and put Tech up 1-0.

The rest of the first half went scoreless, and the teams entered halftime with the 1-0 score. Tech had six shots in the first half and Clemson had four.

Five minutes into the second period, the Hokies found themselves down to only 10 players after defensive centerback Jordan Coburn was issued a red card for a foul on Clemson’s midfielder Catrina Atanda.

The shorthanded Hokies showed no letdown after the ejection, holding Clemson to only one shot on goal for the remainder of the game.

In the 76th minute, Tech added an insurance goal when Meier found herself in space and fired a 25-yard shot into the upper left corner of the goal. The laser strike hit the post, bounced into the goal and gave Tech the 2-0 lead.

Against the third-highest scoring offense in the ACC, Tech’s defense showed just how strong and experienced the group really is. Following Coburn’s dismissal, Jodie Zelenky in the middle and Morgan Conklin and Danielle King in the outside spots, stepped up their play to defend the Tigers’ attack.

Defensive midfielder Candace Cephers dropped into the center defensive position in place of Coburn and helped give Tech’s defense its seventh shutout of the year. Prior to the move to the defense, the Aurora, Colorado, native helped slow Tiger’s midfielder Atanda, the high-scoring midfielder of the Clemson attack.

“Candace and Jodie did a tremendous job,” Adair commented. “They clogged the midfield. Candace jumped into the backline and filled in to stop their attack.”

With the win, Tech improves to a 10-0-0 this season, the best start and the longest winning streak in program history. The Hokies began their ACC play with a solid win but have a tough slate of opponents remaining.

Clemson falls to 7-1-1 on the year and 0-1-0 in the ACC.

Next for the Hokies is No. 18 Notre Dame on Thursday, Sept. 25 at 7 p.m. at Thompson Field.

For updates on Virginia Tech women's soccer, follow the Hokies on Twitter

HokieSports Shop