Virginia Tech Women's Soccer Team Advances to ACC Championship Game on Penalty Kicks
Nov. 7, 2008
CARY, N.C. - Virginia Tech continued its Cinderella-like run to through ACC Women's Soccer Championship on Friday night, besting third-seeded Virginia in a penalty-kick shootout.
The seventh-seeded Hokies (10-7-4) earned their first appearance in the finals since joining the conference in 2004 and will face top-seeded and 18-time tournament champion North Carolina on Sunday at 1 p.m.
"A lot of people might think we are the bad news bears, but I think a lot of differently to be honest," Virginia Tech coach Kelly Cagle said. "I think anything is possible with this team, and I don't know that has been the case with any team that I have been a part of in any capacity before, as a player or a coach," Cagle said..
Virginia (13-4-3) entered the semifinal after a 3-2 double overtime victory over sixth seeded Wake Forest. Virginia Tech earned its berth in the semifinal after a victory over second-seeded Florida State in penalty kicks.
Virginia opened up the scoring 22 minutes into the first half when Lauren Alwine placed the ball past the outstretched arms of Virginia Tech goalkeeper Kristin Carden. Caitlin Miskel and Alli Fries picked up assists on the goal.
Virginia Tech spent most of the first half in its own end, trying to withhold a relentless Virginia attack.
"We were very fortunate to go in at the half only down 1-0," said Cagle. "We changed our game plan a little bit. We were a real different team. We picked up our pressure and picked up the intensity."
In the second half, Virginia came out of the gates firing. The Cavaliers piled shot upon shot but were unable to beat Carden.
Despite the Cavaliers' pressure, Virginia Tech knotted things up with 23 minutes remaining in the second half on a goal from Emily Jukich. Hokies forward Robin Chidester raced down the field and gave way to Jukich, who in one swift motion beat her defender and then Virginia goalkeeper Celeste Miles.
With time winding down, the Hokies were able to fend off a late Cavaliers offensive assault to force overtime. Carden denied Virginia midfielder Lindsey Miller on a breakaway with eight minutes remaining to ensure extra time.
After an uneventful first overtime, Carden robbed the Cavaliers of yet another scoring opportunity. With eight minutes remaining in the second OT, Carden was able to get her fingertips on a shot from Virginia forward Sinead Farrelly that appeared labeled for the back of the net.
Virginia nearly ended the game with two minutes remaining when the referee declared an indirect free kick inside Virginia Tech's box. The infraction was imposed because Carden picked up the ball twice inside the box.
Virginia forward Meghan Lenczk took the indirect kick, which was blocked by a Virginia Tech defender and directed out of play.
As the game continued into penalty kicks, Carden continued her stellar play. She came up with three monumental saves after denying the Cavaliers all night.
Virginia Tech converted on two of their penalty kicks, which proved enough to upset Virginia on their way to the ACC Championship Final.
"It is obviously disappointing to be eliminated this way," said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. "We did everything we needed to do to win this game but just ran into a red hot goalkeeper. We now must regroup and get ready for the NCAA Tournament."
#7 Virginia Tech will take #1 North Carolina in the ACC Championship Final on Sunday. The match will be televised live on Fox Sports South, Sun Sports, NESN and Comcast Sports Net at 1 pm. The teams met Oct. 12 in Chapel Hill, with North Carolina winning 4-0.