Virginia Tech slips past Wake Forest in OT
Nov. 4, 2009
CARY, N.C. – When it comes to the Atlantic Coast Conference Women’s Soccer Championship, Virginia Tech is making advancing in overtime a habit.
All-ACC freshman midfielder Kelly Conheeney scored off a corner kick a little over six minutes into the first OT, lifting the fourth-seeded Hokies (14-6) past fifth-seeded Wake Forest (13-5-2) in Wednesday’s quarterfinal matchup of nationally-ranked teams.
Tenth-ranked Virginia Tech moved on to Friday’s 5 p.m. semifinal game at WakeMed Soccer Park, where it will face top-seeded and third-ranked Florida State. The 19th-ranked Demon Deacons will await Monday night’s NCAA Tournament selection announcements and their all-but-certain inclusion as an at-large team.
For Virginia Tech coach Kelly Cagle, the game sparked memories of last November, when her sixth-seeded team prevailed in two penalty-kick shootouts en route to the ACC Championship finals.
“Our team just had a will to win,” Cagle said. “Certainly, it wasn’t the best game of the season for our front three, but the rest of the team picked up the slack. We battled, we had other players who stepped up. That’s what this sport is about.”
Wake Forest outshot Virginia Tech 16-14, and both teams just missed several opportunities before Conheeney’s goal ended it.
“We missed our chances,” Wake Forest coach Tony da Luz said. “We had great chances to score. (Virginia Tech) capitalized on their set pieces. It’s elimination soccer. It’s two good teams that are evenly matched, and it comes down to set pieces.”
Regulation play ended in dramatic fashion, as Wake Forest’s Allie Sadow pushed the ball on the right side on a break and got a pass to Caitlin Farrell, who attempted a short header. But Virginia Tech defender Kelly Lynch slipped inside the box and kicked the ball back upfield as time expired.
“It was unbelievable,” Cagle said. “The last time we played Wake Forest, (defender)Brittany Michels made a play at the end of the first half to save a goal and change the game for us. Today, Kelly Lynch made the play that allowed us to breathe new life. Those are the kinds of game-changing moments players remember for the rest of their lives.”