By David Cooper, sports staff writer
The Hokies’ men’s soccer team played host to the Boston College Eagles at Thompson Field on Friday night in front of a loud and energetic crowd.
Both teams entered the game coming off tough losses to two ranked teams.
As Virginia Tech head coach Mike Brizendine put it: “Both teams were fighting for our lives.”
The Hokies got off to a slow start to the game and the Eagles took advantage early by dominating the time of possession. The Eagles had a few chances in the 10’ and 15’ but the Hokies defense prevailed against BC’s strong offensive attack.
Virginia Tech goalkeeper Kyle Renfro tied his career high in saves in a game with nine and was a major reason why the Hokies did not go down in this game early.
Renfro had some incredible saves, none bigger than the one in the 25’ when Boston College attempted to chip one in on a breakaway counter but was turned away with a perfectly timed jump by Renfro.
“Their attack started at pretty fast and we were under the gun for most of the first half,” Renfro said.
The Hokies entered halftime being outshot 13 to three, having all three of their shots coming from sophomore mid-fielder Ben Strong.
The Eagles started out quick coming out of halftime and scored within the first minute of the second half with a shot from senior forward Charlie Rugg.
When coach Brizendine was asked about the reason why his team started out slow in the first and second halves, he responded, “it’s part of developing a young team, sometimes we’ll start out slow sometimes we’ll start out strong.”
After Boston College’s quick goal, the tempo of the game began to favor the Eagles. It was clear that the goal deflated some of the Hokies’ energy.
Virginia Tech took an even bigger hit when defender Devante DuBose picking up a red card in the 50’, which forced the Hokies to play a man down for the rest of the game.
With the Hokies backed up against the wall, they began to play with an intensity that they had been missing in the first half.
The Hokies finally saw the result of their hard work by knocking in the equalizer in the 82’ to tie the game at 1. The shot was made by none other than the lone senior on the squad and team captain David Fiorello.
“We were really pushing it being down a man and I think we deserved the goal,” Fiorello said.
The Hokies ended regulation tied at 1 and began playing their first overtime game of the season.
The Eagles and the Hokies traded opportunities to win the game in overtime but neither team could capitalize and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.
“We showed a lot of heart and character as a team and this game is a stepping stone in the right direction,” Renfro said.
The Hokies play at Thompson Field again on Tuesday night against the Virginia Military Academy and look to build on the momentum they gained from this game.