LEXINGTON, Va. – Sophomore Kyle Forché has scored two goals this season, and both have been big time markers, with the first to help the Virginia Military Institute men’s soccer team equalize at Liberty and on Saturday, the forward headed home the game-winner to give VMI a 1-0 win over visiting UNC Asheville.
The Keydets battled through 80 minutes before Forché tipped home the winner. He was set up by classmate Travis Borkey, who, despite some confusion on who should take the close-range set piece, sent in a ball the found Forché in the middle of the box. With the goal, VMI improves to 2-0-0 this season when Forché scores.
With the win, VMI collects another three points in the Big South Conference standings, bringing its total to six, the most for the team since the Keydets went 3-5-0 in conference play during the 2010 season. The victory also marked VMI’s first Big South Conference win at Patchin Field since Sept. 25, 2011, a span of nine league games at home.
Ranked 45th in the nation with 4.64 saves per game this season, Keydet keeper Daniel Kitchen exceeded his average, making six stops at Patchin Field Saturday afternoon, preserving the clean slate. Kitchen’s first shutout of the year extended UNC Asheville’s scoreless streak to 415 minutes.The victory was Kitchen’s first full-game shutout since Oct. 3, 2012 when VMI played No. 23 High Point to a 0-0 draw.
In goal, the Bulldogs split time between Dan Jackson and Zak Davis. Jackson did not make a save in the first half, as the Keydets failed to put an attempt on frame. Davis suffered the loss, making one save and allowing one goal in the second stanza.
The Bulldogs out-shot the Keydets 13-9, including 7-4 in the first half. However, VMI limited the shots on goal in the second half, holding Asheville to just two, both stopped by Kitchen. Borkey led VMI’s shooting efforts, taking three attempts. In the 20th minute, Borkey took a blast of a shot from 25 yards out, banging the effort off the crossbar.
Seven different Keydets (2-12-1, 2-6-0) took shots on the day, with Forché and freshman Wes Saupe putting their shots on goal to help VMI snap a six-game skid. Junior captain Blake McCauley took one shot, tipping it just wide and striking the post in the final minute of the first half.
Bulldog Kenny Lingerfelt led the day with six shots, including four of Asheville’s six on goal, but was stymied by Kitchen all afternoon. Rob May and Grady Bradshaw each put one shot on goal, while Stabler Cochrane managed a trio of shots but could not find the frame.
UNC Asheville (4-11-0, 1-6-0 BSC) held a 9-4 advantage on the corners, taking six in the second half. VMI managed three of its four over the final 45 minutes.