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No. 10 Virginia Tech women down Syracuse, 3-1

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (Via Virginia Tech) – Virginia Tech took an early lead and never trailed, as they defeated Syracuse, 3-1, in ACC women’s soccer action Sunday afternoon at Thompson Field.

The match, delayed one hour due to adverse field conditions, was played, for the most part in the first half in a steady rain. With the win, Tech, ranked 10th nationally, improves to 10-1-1 overall and 2-1 in conference play. Syracuse falls to 4-7-1 on the season and 0-3 in ACC action.

“I was happy with the start by us,” head coach Chugger Adair said. “I think we came out with more energy and fire. There was more excitement in the first half. I think we set a tone for the game then, which was good.”

Tech got off to a fast start, beginning the scoring in the 16th minute. Candace Cephers scored off of a corner kick from Jordan Coburn to give the Hokies a 1-0 lead. About eight minutes later, in the 24th minute, Murielle Tiernan added her ninth goal of the season and her third in ACC play, off of a free kick, once again from Coburn.

Just before intermission, Syracuse notched its lone goal of the afternoon, by Stephanie Skilton, in the 44th minute of play. Early in the second half, the Hokies put the match away, as Ashley Meier stole the ball in the Syracuse half and scored from about 10 yards out to give Tech the final 3-1 margin.

“It was nice to see us score two goals in the first half,” Adair added. “Unfortunately, we gave up the goal off the deflection just before half. Other than that, we played pretty well in the first half.”

Tech dominated the statistics, out shooting the Orange, 15-8, and taking 7 corner kicks. Kaylyn Smith earned her ninth win over the season, recording two, second half saves.

“I was happy with the overall result,” Adair concluded. “I think the girls stepped up and played well. We’re growing and getting better and I’m happy with that. We have to continue to grow and develop.

“We have a good week that we can start to train and prepare to get ready for three very tough conference games, which is going to be a challenging stretch for us.”

The Hokies begin a three-game road swing, beginning next weekend. Tech travels to Durham on Sunday to take on nationally ranked Duke at 2 p.m., before matches at Wake Forest and nationally ranked Clemson. The Duke match will be broadcast live on ESPN3.

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