The Virginia Tech men’s soccer team looked to reach their third Elite Eight appearance in school history, but stout defense and a late goal by Stanford ended the Hokies’ season Sunday night.
The Hokies were on the offensive early against Stanford as midfielder Daniel Pereira fired a left-footed rocket from 22 yards that would have been good if not for the save by Cardinal keeper Andrew Thomas.
Tech would continue to pour on the pressure in the opening half. In the 26th minute, James Kasak put a cross into the box that Camron Lennon tried to score off one touch, but his shot would sail high.
Lennon would found himself with another chance minutes later in the 32nd as he fired a shot off a counter, only to have Stanford’s Thomas come up with the save.
The Hokies final chance to score in the first half came from the strong leg of Pereira. The freshman ripped a shot from 30 yards out that sailed over Thomas’ hands and just barely struck the crossbar.
Stanford was first to get on the board when Derek Waldeck latched onto a through ball into the box in the 54th minute and fired a shot around a Tech defender and past the arms of Mathjis Swaneveld.
Tech would reply in the 68th minute when a cross from Pereira found Lennon at the top of the 18-yard box as he fired a missile past the outstretched arms of Thomas to tie the game at 1-1.
The Hokis tried mightily for the remainder of the half to put another point on the scoreboard, but the goal would not come. Stanford would take the lead for good in the 80th minute when a Cardinal corner kick landed inside the 6-yard box and bounced around before finding Keegan Hughes, who was able to tap it in.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
- Shots: Virginia Tech 14-11
- Corners: Virginia Tech 6-2
- Saves: Stanford 4-2
- In the NCAA Tournament, the Hokies move to 9-7-2 all-time and now move to a 6-4 record under under head coach Mike Brizendine.
- The Hokies were led this season in goal by Kristo Strickler with 10, while Mathjis Swaneveld tallied 68 saves in the season. Tech was led in assists by Nick Blacklock, Kasak and Pereira who all had five.
- Will Mejia, Strickler, Kasak, Swaneveld and Pereira were the only Hokies to start all 19 matches.
- Lennon’s goal was his second of the season, with both coming in the postseason.