ODU Falls in College Cup Third Round to Hokies, 0-1
Dec. 2, 2007
BLACKSBURG, Va. - ODU's hopes at a national title were dashed in Blacksburg Sunday afternoon as Virginia Tech advanced with a 1-0 victory over ODU. The Hokies advance to play UConn in the national semifinal game next weekend. ODU ends their 2007 campaign with a second consecutive third round appearance in the NCAA College Cup and an overall record of 14-7-3.
Both teams had their share of offensive opportunities and solid defensive stands in the first half, but the game would be decided early. The Hokies pulled ahead 1-0 at the break with a goal in the 23rd minute while the Monarchs also had five solid shots at the goal in the half, but were unable to come away with a score. Aside from the goal, the ODU defense was solid as David Horst and Yomby William anchored the middle of the defense, stopping several runs at goal. Horst added a team save early in the game when Tech's Scott Spangler got a header on net.
"It was a fairly even game, I thought," said head coach Alan Dawson. "The game was won by a very special player. Both of these teams battled today."
The Hokies opening goal came when the ball was cleared up the right side and the slippery conditions got the better of ODU left back Adam Roscioli. The window was small but enough for VT to get a pass into the box where the goal came from a scrum about 10 yards out. ODU keeper Evan Newton was caught between coming out to collect the ball and staying back to protect the net when Georg Zehender's cross found his teammate Patrick Nyarko, who lifted the shot over Newton's head, into the crossbar and got the bounce just beyond the goal line.
The Monarchs best chance in the half came from a free kick just outside the right corner of the 18 yard box. Daniel Haywood sent a perfect ball to the head of Trevor Banks. His shot was just wide left of the goal. ODU had four shots off headers that sailed just wide or high of the goal in the first and they outshot a Tech team that is averaging 2.30 goals per game.
Out of the locker room, nothing materalized offensively for the Monarchs still and they were more pressed defensively. Having to force everything forward made the team vulnerable in the back. Twice in the half rookie back Roscioli had to make sensational defensive stands all alone to prevent a goal. The first came as he stopped a low cross with a slide tackle that got by the rest of the defense and the second stand saw Roscioli stop a three-on-one singlehandedly.
"We struggled to get any combination working well up front," said Dawson. "It was just one of those games where you weren't going to have a lot of looks."
With just over nine minutes remaining, Newton would be tested on a breakaway yet again as the potent Hokie attack continued to press. Another three-on-one breakaway assembled, but this time Newton had no defenders between he and the attack. Robert Edmans tried to sneak by the diving Newton, but he got a hand on his first shot, then when Edmans tried to get another shot off, again Newton made the sensational diving save.
ODU would then send almost everyone forward, including CAA Defender of the Year David Horst. The Monarchs could not finish, unfortunately, as the Tech defense only allowed three shots the entire half.
ODU held one of the top offensive attacks to the lone goal, and just 10 shots. Tech was averaging nearly 2 1/2 goals per game coming into the contest.
The Monarchs season ends as it did a year ago, in the third round of the NCAA Tournament. ODU went 14-7-3 on the season overall.
"It's really hard [to deal with] right now, because I felt like this year's team was so special, not just because of soccer but because we were such a tight-knit crew," said senior co-captain A.J. Kulp, after playing in his final game. "This is the closest team I've ever been a part of so that's why it's pretty hard right now. It hasn't dawned on me now that tomorrow morning I'm going to wake up and I won't be able to go to practice or play anymore. It's been a heck of a year."
Tech advances with a win in their first ever third round game, and will play UConn on the road this weekend.
ODU 0-0=0 VT 1-0=1
22:44 VT Nyarko, Patrick (6) from Georg Zehender
Shots: ODU (8), VT (10) Corners: ODU (4), VT (10) Fouls: ODU (12), VT (10) Saves: ODU: Newton (3), TEAM (1) VT: Aigner (1)
Cautions and ejections: YC-VT #8 (25:19); YC-VT #14 (59:28); YC-ODU #20 (66:33); YC-ODU #3 (85:36)