By: Edward Perez – Staff Writer
The University of Dayton women’s soccer season was abruptly put to an end after they were blanked in their first match in the NCAA tournament by No. 14 Virginia Tech Saturday in Blacksburg, Virginia.
After beating La Salle in the Atlantic 10 championship game, the Flyers earned a spot in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2011.
The Flyers faced Virginia Tech on their own turf Saturday night. The victor of the game was already virtually determined at halftime as the Flyers were down four to nothing and missing several players due to injury, who could give them the edge to spark a comeback.
Dayton junior forward Ashley Campbell, who scored double the amount of goals as UD’s second leading goal scorer during the 2014 season with 16, did not play due to an injury she suffered in the final moments of the A-10 championship game.
According to head coach Mike Tucker, his team was surprised by the skill Virginia Tech held and weren’t able to put up with them in the first half.
The Flyers didn’t take a single shot in the first half, whereas the Hokies took 17. Junior goalkeeper Heather Betancourt made a career-high 12 saves, but it wasn’t enough to shut out Virginia Tech.
Tucker did note that his team stepped up their performance in the second half, indicating why they didn’t receive any goals throughout the remaining period. By the end of the match, the Flyers managed four shots, with only two on target and allowed the Hokies only five shots in the second half.
Their loss to the Hokies marks an end to the women’s 2014 soccer season. From here on out until the spring, Tucker said the team will dedicate all of their time to recovery and bring all their attention to academics.
With the 2014 season wrapping up Saturday and with a conference championship in hand, Tucker believes the team had a great season. He says the team drastically improved throughout the year. However, he has set a goal to improve the team’s tactical play in upcoming seasons.