No. 13 Hokies Mens Soccer bounce back strong, defeat Winthrop 3-0

College Sports

BLACKSBURG – The No. 13 Virginia Tech men’s soccer team bounced back in convincing fashion with a 3-0 win over Winthrop at Thompson Field on Wednesday night. 

Welnilton Da Silva Jr. opened up the scoring in the first half with his first career goal before Jacob Labovitz and Conor Pugh added to their season tallies in the second half.

Within the first two minutes of the game, the tone was set as Winthrop (6-6, 3-2 Big South) sent in a couple aggressive challenges around the box without serious consequence. The Hokies (9-2-3, 3-2-1 ACC) shrugged off the physicality and created chances, but struggled to bury the first goal.

That goal came eventually, however, as Kyle McDowell’s long throw in the 31st minute bounced without being cleared and Welnilton Da Silva Jr. rocketed a half-volley shot into the back of the net for the first goal of his Tech career.

Despite putting forward nine shots in the first half, the Hokies carried only a 1-0 lead into the break. 

With motivation to put this midweek clash in the bag, Virginia Tech’s two leading goalscorers stepped up in the second half to improve on the home team’s cushion.

Nick Blacklock delivered an excellent corner that floated to the head of Labovitz near the hour mark, who sent the ball back across goal for his eighth goal of the season and Tech’s eight headed goal of the year.

Wrapping up the scoring for the evening was Pugh, who has now scored in three consecutive games. His fourth goal in three matches came after Andrew Weber unselfishly passed on a ball in the box for the Irishman to deliver into the goal.

Accompanying the three-goal effort was Ben Martino’s fourth clean sheet in five games. The freshman notched four saves, including a crucial diving effort on a Winthrop free kick that preserved Tech’s lead in the 36th minute.

Up next, the Hokies will host North Carolina on Sunday at 7 p.m. for Senior Night at Thompson Field.

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