BLACKSBURG, Va. – Junior defender Claire Constant (Alexandria, Va.) hit the golden goal for the Cavaliers in the 94th minute, lifting No. 11 Virginia (2-1-1, 0-1-1 ACC) to a 1-0 victory over Virginia Tech (0-4-0, 0-2-0 ACC) at Thompson Field on Friday night (Sept. 25).
Freshman midfielder Lia Godfrey (Fleming Island, Fla.) served a ball deep into the box on a corner kick to Constant for the leaping header. Constant put the ball in to the upper corner left corner as the keeper charged off her line to give the Cavaliers the overtime victory. It was the first game-winning goal for Constant in her career with the Cavaliers.
Redshirt freshman Cayla White (Arlington, Va.) picked up the victory in her first collegiate start, making six saves on 12 Virginia Tech shots. One of the biggest saves of the night came in the 85th minute when White made a leaping save of an Emily Gray shot, tapping it up and over the crossbar to keep the Hokies off the board.
“Virginia Tech is always organized and they are always good on the counter attack, so we knew we would have a strong challenge tonight,” said Virginia head coach Steve Swanson. “I thought we played some very good soccer throughout the match, but our issue for the last several games has been our quality in and around the goal. We are getting chances and creating opportunities in the attacking end, but just cannot convert. But credit Virginia Tech on the night as they made it difficult for us. We are happy to come out of there with a win and look forward to getting back home next week.”
Despite being against a fellow ACC team, the match was designated as a non-conference match this season. It is the second time this season the two teams met in a non-conference matchup as Virginia took the 3-1 victory over the Hokies in the season opener in Charlottesville on September 12.
Virginia maintained the bulk of possession in the first half and kept the pressure on the Hokies’ defense, taking 15 shots to only three by Virginia Tech. Five of the shots from the Cavaliers came on frame, while two were on goal for the Hokies.
Despite numerous chances, neither team could find the net as Virginia Tech keeper Alia Skinner made five saves and Virginia’s White saved both chances from the Hokies in the half.
Each side got its chances in the second period, but again the defense came out on top. Virginia Tech rattled off nine shots with Virginia’s White making four saves, while the Cavaliers took 10 shots and the Virginia Tech keeper making five saves on those shots to keep the match scoreless at the end of regulation.
The golden goal came in the 94th minute when Godfrey connected with Constant to lift the Cavaliers to the victory.
Virginia will return to action on Thursday (Oct. 1) when the Cavaliers return home to host Pittsburgh in a 7 p.m. contest at Klöckner Stadium.