Lady Monarchs drop Home Opener to Virginia Tech 3-0

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ODU Athletics

Senior forward Carla Morich makes her move past the Hokie defender

Art Neal , Associate Sports Editor

To kick off the first weekend of the school year, much of the Norfolk community came out to watch the ODU women’s soccer team take on Virginia Tech on Thursday evening. The Lady Monarchs came into their first home game at the Old Dominion soccer complex 0-3, having taken on Auburn, William and Mary, and East Carolina to open their season. Virginia Tech was sitting at 3-0. The game was the start of a weekend of in-state rivalry matchups against the Hokies. 

A packed house at ODU Soccer Complex as the Lady Monarchs and Hokies face off (ODU Athletics )

After the playing of the national anthem and the introduction of the lineups, both teams jumped into action. Virginia Tech opened the first half with possession. The action started early as ODU moved the ball downfield into a cross kick to a potential header that unfortunately flew long into the opposite corner in the fifth minute. Virginia Tech then counterattacked with their own trip into the box in the sixth minute, which was stopped by a save from ODU keeper and junior Erin Jones. Both teams continued to force the ball into enemy territory on their respective possessions, making for exciting early minutes. The Lady Monarch defense remained strong, stopping goal-scoring opportunities with quality plays and forcing the opposition outside of the penalty area. 

In the 23rd minute of the match, a misdirected header from ODU’s defense led to an undefended goal and Virginia Tech took advantage, putting the Lady Monarchs behind 1-0. The ODU defense kept up their strength throughout the first half despite many drives by the Hokie offense down the field. In the 36th minute, Virginia Tech had another opportunity to put themselves ahead 2-0 but missed the net by a few inches, keeping the contest margin at one. The ODU defense prevailed again by blocking a potential shot in the 40th minute that gave the strikers and the rest of the Lady Monarch offense the ball to close the half. The Lady Monarchs moved the ball well in the closing minutes of the first half but were not able to penetrate the Hokies’ defense to get a goal-scoring opportunity. 

At the half, ODU did well to stay in the game, had quality runs downfield that came up short, and were behind a singular miscue. The Lady Monarchs and Hokies were tied, with both having four shots on goal. Throughout the first half of this match, there were no corner kicks. 

As the second half of play began, Old Dominion opened up with possession and quickly gave away to a Virginia Tech offensive push that was thwarted by a nice open-field save by Jones in the 47th minute. Jones’s save helped shift the momentum of the game and resulted in a shot by ODU forward Yuliia Khrystiuk, a junior from Ukraine. Sadly, this attempt flew high into the crossbar. The Lady Monarchs kept possession of the ball as they initiated the first corner kick of the game in the 57th minute. Old Dominion was not able to capitalize on the opportunity and the Hokies moved the ball down the field quickly to score and increase the margin to 2-0 in the 58th minute.

Senior defenseman Malia Mariano plays the ball as the ODU offense push downfield. (ODU Athletics)

 

Old Dominion snatched several more scoring opportunities, including one by senior Anna Torslov in the 65th minute and senior Carla Morich in the 69th. Unfortunately, the Hokies’ defense prevented these attempts from coming to fruition. The push by the Virginia Tech offense continued and they scored again in the 74th minute to extend their lead to 3-0. These were tough odds for a comeback by the Lady Monarchs. Undeterred, ODU continued to push into Hokie territory as Morich broke down in the 82nd minute. The Hokies would hold firm and win the match 3-0 over Old Dominion. The Lady Monarchs fall to 0-4 on the season.

When asked about the Lady Monarchs’ performance, head coach Angie Hind remained positive. “We went toe to toe with Virginia Tech,” Hind said. “I was so proud of my team tonight. We gave away the first goal and that’s the last thing you want to do against a Top 25 program, but the effort, the heart, and the desire to score was incredible.”

The Lady Monarchs will continue their season by facing two more Virginia teams. They will play the Longwood Lancers at 6 p.m. this coming Sunday, Sept. 3, and then travel north to Richmond, VA to take on the Spiders on Thursday, Sept. 8.