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Virginia Tech, Tennessee women play to 1-1 draw

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BLACKBURG, Va. (Via Virginia Tech) – Virginia Tech and Tennessee played to 1-1 draw in double overtime on Sunday night in non-conference women’s soccer at Thompson Field in Blacksburg. The ninth-ranked Hokies are now 3-0-1 on the season, while the Volunteers are 1-0-3 overall.

The two teams played it even, both on the field and in the stats, in the first 45-minute period. Each team had scoring opportunities, but the match was scoreless entering intermission.

“I was pleased we were able to get a goal after being down, so that’s a good step for us; that we battled and fought,” head coach Chugger Adair said. “They are a good side and they did what they needed to do to try and get a result and we held on as best we could to tie the game. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get the result, but we played hard and I credit the girls for that.”

Tennessee got on the board first, as Mackenzie Gouner scored off a cross from Anna McClung in the 69th minute of action. The Hokies were thwarted on multiple tries in the final 20 minutes of regulation, but did not tie the score until the 86th minute of play, as freshman Kristina Diana found the back of the net off of a pass from Laila Gray. Regulation finished tied at 1-1, despite ate opportunities from both teams. The goal was Diana’s first collegiate goal.

The match then went to two, 10-minute sudden-victory periods. Both teams once again had their chances, but were unable put in a winning goal. Tech, which won the shots battle on the night, 23-11, outshot the Vols, 9-0 in the two extra sessions combined. Tech also dominated the corner kick battle, 9-3.

“They did well defending on corners,” Adair added. “They put all 11 in the 6-yard box. We were knocking on the door a few times, so we have to continue to do that if we can.”

Both goalies posted standout performances, with each playing all 110 minutes for their respective teams. Tennessee’s Julie Eckel recorded five saves, while the Hokies’ Kaylyn Smith was credited with four saves.

“Our more aggressive play in the second half was more of a reaction,” Adair said. “They came in and disrupted our style of play and made it more difficult for us to play. We made some adjustments; talked to them a little bit. It’s the second Sunday in a row we’ve had slow starts. It’s still early in the season and we need to find our legs.”

The Hokies return to action on Wednesday night, as they host in-state foe Longwood. The match is set to kick-off at 7 p.m. at Thompson Field.