Miami implodes in Blacksburg, falls to Virginia Tech in 5-0 defeat

Junior goalkeeper Melissa Dagenais kicks the ball downfield during the second half of the Canes’ match versus USF at Cobb Stadium on Sept. 12, 2021. Photo credit: Jared Lennon

Coming off a 1-0 home loss against Clemson on Monday, Miami head coach Sarah Barnes and the Hurricanes felt encouraged by their performance, despite the loss. Miami were optimistic heading into its Thursday matchup on the road at Virginia Tech.

That sense of optimism died quickly, as the Virginia Tech Hokies (9-5-2, 3-3-2 Atlantic Coastal Conference) scored early and often in a 5-0 win over the Hurricanes (4-10, 1-7 ACC).

Virginia Tech midfielder Emily Gray, who now stands tied for sixth in all-time goals in Virginia Tech history, opened up scoring in the ninth minute, and added her second in the 36th minute. Freshman Emma Pelowski, who assisted Gray’s first goal, added the second goal in the first half with a right-footed shot that flew into the middle of the net past the dive of Miami goalkeeper Melissa Dagenais.

Dagenais, who entered the game leading the ACC with 75 saves, did not record a single save Thursday as she was beaten on all four shots on goal she faced. Backup goalkeeper Tyler Speaks replaced the junior in the 75th minute.

The Hurricanes’ best offensive threat of the night came early into the second half. Freshman Jordan Felton fed a beautiful through ball onto the foot of midfielder Katerina Molina, whose shot from point break range was deflected away by Hokies keeper Alia Skinner. The 5-foot-9 sophomore played all 90 minutes and posted her fifth clean sheet of the season.

The Hokies, who moved to 6-1-1 at home, added two goals in the second half. Freshman Allie Lewis headed in her first goal of the season in the 62nd minute and redshirt sophomore Holly Weber laced her second on a shot that took a wicked deflection off the left leg of defender Delaney Brown.

The Hurricanes were dominated in almost every major statistical category. Virginia Tech doubled UM in shots, 14-7, and registered 13 corner kicks compared to the Canes’ two. Thursday’s loss marked the second consecutive game Barnes’ team was unable to tally a goal.

Looking forward, the Hurricanes have only two games remaining in their season. Their next matchup comes on the road in Charlottesville, Va., against No. 2-ranked Virginia.