Victoria Powell leads Virginia Tech to thrilling 4-3 win over Wake Forest
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – In a second half that saw a combined five goals scored, the Virginia Tech women’s soccer team found itself trailing by one at Wake Forest with less than 23 minutes left. With their postseason lives on the line, the Hokies scored twice, six minutes apart, which included Tori Powell’s game winner in the 84th minute to lift the Hokies to a 4-3 victory in ACC action at Spry Soccer Stadium Thursday night.
For Powell, who opened the match’s scoring with a goal 9:47 in – after forcing a turnover deep in Wake territory and burying a 14-yard strike, she notched her first career game winner with her second goal of the night to complete the five-point effort. She also assisted on an Emily Gray goal just 2:33 after halftime, which including her blasting a ball off the crossbar, tracking down the rebound and slipping a ball across the mouth of the goal to Gray who put it away.
Wake (2-5-1, 2-4-1 ACC) had tied the match in the 15th minute on an own goal and then tied the match again off a free kick from Sophie Faircloth (66:14). It was Faircloth again in the 78th minute, giving the Demon Deacons a 3-2 advantage after finishing a rebounded shot from Hannah Betforth.
Just 25 seconds later, Gray, who leads the nation in assists, lofted a free kick towards the box from 36 yards out and Allyson Brown put her head through it and beat Wake goalkeeper Kaitlyn Parks for Brown’s fourth goal of the year and the ninth of her career. For Gray, it was her eighth assist of the season and 16th of her career. She is now tied for the fifth spot all-time for assists in a single season at the school with Marika Gray (2010) and Wendy Kotwas (1999), while she is all alone at seventh for assists in a career at Tech.
At the 83:38 mark, Powell stopped the clock again with her first career brace after scoring the game winner, her team-leading fifth of the year. The play was actually started by Emma Stegierwald, who played a through ball to Powell from the left side. Her initial shot was deflected back to her, but Powell got just enough on the rebound to get it into the back of the net.
With the win, Tech (4-7-0, 3-4-0) jumps into a tie for the eighth spot in the ACC standings with Pittsburgh, who lost 2-1 in overtime at Clemson. The final day of the regular season is Sunday and the Hokies will face Boston College in Newton, Mass., while the Panthers will play at Wake Forest.
- Emmalee McCarter has now started 50 straight matches for the Hokies, the longest active streak on the team.
- Five Hokies have started all 11 matches this season, Grace Sklopan, Makenzie Graham, Steigerwald, McCarter and Gray.
- Gray leads the team with 12 points and has 32 in her Tech career, as she scored her second goal of the year, eighth of her career.
- Tech is now 4-0-1 versus Wake in its last five meetings, 9-6-3 all-time.
- Powell’s game winner was the latest in a regulation game since Kallie Peurifoy (84:55) versus William & Mary on Aug. 31, 2017.
- Tech scored three goals in the second half for the first time since at Villanova on Sept. 7, 2018.
Tech ends its regular season with the match against the Eagles that starts at 1:30 p.m.