BLACKSBURG – Kahlil Dover’s strike in the 72nd minute pushed Virginia Tech into the second round of the NCAA Tournament with a 2-1 victory over Campbell.
It was the same trio – Kyle McDowell, Kahlil Dover and Pol Monells – combining on both goals to give Tech (11-5-3, 3-4-1 ACC) its sixth consecutive trip to the second round of the tournament.
Having to piece together a side through sickness and injury, and still without steady midfield piece Mayola Kinyua, the Hokies slotted home enough opportunities to fend off Big South champions Campbell (15-4-2, 7-0-1 Big South).
Tech nearly broke through early, as Camron Lennon sent an open header in front of goal over the bar in the 7th minute. This opened the gates for several opportunities by both sides in the first half.
Near the break, Kyle McDowell slotted home a right-footed shot by the near post to give the Hokies a lead in the 41stminute. The goal, which is McDowell’s second in two games, was made possible by a brilliant cross from Kahlil Dover and a pass laid off by Pol Monells.
Campbell battled back, however, as their high-powered offense that averaged 2.70 goals per game leading up to Thursday’s match found an equalizer in the 55th minute.
From that moment, both teams exchanged chances on goal. On the evening, the Camels registered 12 shots to the Hokies 11, but Tech was more efficient with its efforts, putting six on goal (compared to Campbell’s three).
The game-winning breakthrough came in the 72nd minute when McDowell’s low cross across the box found the right foot of Dover, who put the shot across the goal and into the back of the net.
That goal, which was Dover’s second of the season, was enough to see out the result for the Hokies.
Virginia Tech will travel to Morgantown, W.V. to face the Mountaineers on Sunday at 1 p.m. in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.