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Hokies renew regional rivalry with JMU

Hokies renew regional rivalry with JMU

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BLACKSBURG – Eager to hop back onto the winning trail, the Virginia Tech women’s soccer team will make its way up to Harrisonburg on Thursday, Sept. 2, when Tech opens its two-match week at the Fairfield by Marriott Invitational against James Madison. Thursday’s 5 p.m. match between the Hokies and the Dukes at Sentara Park will air live on Flo FC courtesy of FloSports.
 
THREE THINGS TO KNOW 
Back in the Commonwealth:  Virginia Tech is looking to bounce back after experiencing its first defeat of the 2021 season on Sunday at Cincinnati. After holding a lead for more than three-quarters of the minutes played prior to their last outing (76 percent), the Hokies were caught playing from behind for most of the day against the Bearcats, including the duration of the second half. Tech has its sights set on returning to the comforts of the Commonwealth, where the Hokies have sported a 17-2-0 record under Chugger Adair when competing in non-conference regular season matches against in-state opponents. Emily Gray enters Thursday’s match having tallied three goals across Tech’s two most recent matches – part of her ascension to the team’s points lead (eight). At three goals apiece, she and teammate Nicole Kozlova are locked in a multi-way tie for the fifth highest goal output within the ACC.
 
Scouting the Dukes:  Like the Hokies, James Madison is eyeing its first winning effort since Aug. 22 after the Dukes came off a 4-3 defeat to Louisville (Aug. 27) and had a no contest against Ohio (Aug. 29). Despite its loss to Louisville, JMU remained competitive against its first ACC foe of the year, scoring three times in short succession to undo the Cardinals’ 3-0 lead. On paper, Tech finished one position ahead of Louisville in the 2021 ACC preseason coaches’ poll, placing seventh with Louisville immediately behind. Fifth-year student-athletes Ebony Wiseman and Hannah Coulling co-lead the Dukes with two goals apiece while Wiseman and second-year freshman Lexi Vanderlinden have provided two assists each atop the team leaderboard. Tech has defeated JMU on five consecutive occasions dating back to the 2010 season.
 
Pedal to the Floor:  Virginia Tech’s attack has been top-notch through the start of the 2021 season. Entering Thursday, the Hokies have averaged 16.25 shot attempts through their first four matches, peaking at 20 attempts during their 7-1 rout of Elon (Aug. 26). Even in defeat, Tech came out ahead of the shot margin during its outing at Cincinnati, controlling the 14-11 edge in total attempts and the 7-2 mark in shots on target.
 
UP NEXT
• Virginia Tech will complete its two-match week at the Fairfield by Marriott Invitational on Sunday, Sept. 5, when the Hokies take on the defending national champion, No. 9 Santa Clara. Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. at Sentara Park.
 

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