September 28, 2014
No. 2 Tech beats visiting Duke 2-0
Yensen and Tiernan score in ACC battle
Duke (6-5-0) 000
(2) Virginia Tech (11-1-0) 112
  • Thompson Field - 968

BLACKSBURG - An early penalty kick and a late goal lifted the second-ranked Virginia Tech women’s soccer team to a 2-0 win over Duke on Sunday night at Thompson Field.

“I think the passion was there tonight,” head coach Chugger Adair said. “Duke came out and was fiesty. It was a hard-fought game that could have gone either way. I think the girls did a good job to grind out the game.”

Looking to bounce back from their first loss of the year on Thursday night, the Hokies (11-1-0, 2-1-0 ACC) took up the challenge of facing one of the toughest programs in ACC history. Duke (6-5-0, 2-1-0 ACC) came into the game coming off three wins against NC State, Pittsburgh and LSU, but the stellar defense and midfield possession of the Hokies was enough to give Tech their eighth shutout win of the year.

Tech took the lead just seconds after the whistle blew for the start of the game when senior Katie Yensen headed a ball to sophomore Murielle Tiernan, who was then fouled in the box for a penalty kick. Yensen took the kick and fired the shot to the left side netting to put Tech up 1-0 after just 50 seconds of play.

The rest of the half consisted of midfield possessions with occasional runs to the outside of each defense, but neither team was able to put away any more goals. Tech entered the break leading the shot count, 7-3 with one corner.

In the second half, Duke began to press into the Hokies’ half of the field, earning three corners in a fifteen minute span, but the tall and athletic Tech defenders were there to knock out every dangerous set-piece cross.

Tech then had a series of offensive strikes, including a volley from senior Shannon Mayrose that barely missed the goal. A pass from the midfield was sent in the air to the top of the Duke 18-yard box, where Mayrose narrowly edged out Blue Devil goalie Ali Kershner, volleying the ball towards an open net, missing wide of the left post.

In the 84th minute, ACC-leading scorer Tiernan scored her eighth of the year when a header from senior Kelsey Loupee sent her past the Blue Devil defense with only the keeper to beat. Tiernan shot past EJ Proctor, Duke’s substitute goalie, to put Tech up 2-0.

Loupee’s assist increased her career total to 20, placing her third on the all-time list at Virginia Tech, and Katie Yensen’s goal increased her game-winning goal total to nine, placing her also in a tie for third all-time.

The next opponent for the Hokies is No. 9 North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, next Friday. The game will be broadcasted on Comcast Sports Network.

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