AKRON, Ohio - In a valiant effort to contain the No. 4 Virginia Tech Hokies, the University of Akron women's soccer fell 3-0 in their home opener on Friday night at FirstEnergy Stadium - Cub Cadet Field.
The Hokies offense got to work early and often, challenging the Zips on their defensive half for a majority of the game. Playing seven back for the bulk of the first half, Akron held strong early against a Virginia Tech offense that scored ten goals in their first two games, including a 6-0 rout of VCU and a 4-0 win at Davidson. In those two games, eight different players scored, giving them an attack built strong all around.
Despite four shots and three corner kicks for the Hokies in the first 30 minutes, the Zips kept them out of the back of the net. Senior Lani Smith eventually made it down the field and got a shot off, going wide right.
Akron took just four shots in the game, including three in the second half. Smith had the only shot on goal for the Zips, a touch in the 71st minute saved by backup goalkeeper Kaylyn Kelly.
Virginia Tech eventually connected in the 32nd minute as Candace Cephers headed a ball into the net off of a corner kick on the west end of the stadium. Just under seven minutes later, Alani Johnson put the Hokies up 2-0 with a sliding shot in the middle of the box that she managed to push to the far post, past junior goalkeeper Klaire Adee.
Johnson connected again in the 58th minute for Virginia Tech as she took a rebounded ball off of a corner kick and scored it for the final goal of the game.
Both Adee and senior goalie Alex Luevano-Harden made three saves in the game for the Zips, while Adee played the first 60 minutes and 55 seconds of the match followed by Luevano-Harden who finished it off. Luevano-Harden made her three saves in a span of one minute and 52 seconds late in the game.
Akron managed three corner kicks in the second half after not securing any in the first, while the Hokies continued to pound out shots, taking 15 in the second half and 25 total in the game.
The Zips take on Cleveland State this Tuesday, Sept. 2, just up the road at the Krenzler Soccer Field at 7 p.m.