Home Men’s soccer: VMI falls in home opener to Virginia Tech
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Men’s soccer: VMI falls in home opener to Virginia Tech

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vmi_logo2The VMI men’s soccer team lost a close battle with Virginia Tech by a 2-1 score Tuesday afternoon at Patchin Field in Lexington, Virginia.

Senior Travis Borkey scored his first goal of the season just five minutes into the game to give the Keydets (0-5) a quick 1-0 advantage, their first lead of the season. To earn the goal, he took a cross from teammates David Harpen and Jonathan Martinez and snuck around a Hokie defender to put the ball into the net.

The goal marked the sixth career score for the Mechanicsville, Virginia, native, who scored two last season and three as a sophomore. It also ended a three-game scoreless streak for the Keydets after not having scored since the season opener at Longwood on August 28.

The lead was short-lived, however, as the Hokies (3-2) put in a goal at the 8:47 mark just moments later to knot the score at one apiece. Tech forward Daniel Lauretano took a pass from Ricardo John just inside the 18 and shot it into the lower right corner for the equalizer.

“Travis did well with a dangerous ball played in and took it well.  It was a great goal.” said VMI head coach Jon Freeman. “We had a game plan to stay compact and counter, and the boys did a good job of following the plan.  We got the early goal and just couldn’t hang on.  Tech is a very good team and broke us down in the end.”

Goalie Alex Guerra faced 28 Virginia Tech shot attempts throughout the match, picking up a season-high 12 saves in the effort.

“Alex was excellent tonight,” Freeman said. “He made a few saves that you don’t expect any keeper to make. He was aggressive and quick off his line, and did very well on crosses. He has done well every game. Tonight he was special.”

With only 15 minutes remaining before the end of regulation and a potential overtime scenario, Tech’s Som Essome took advantage of a Keydet defensive miscue and penetrated deep into VMI territory, approached Guerra’s right side and tapped the ball into the open net from the right side of the box just before going out-of-bounds.

Borkey led the Keydets with his goal on two shot attempts while Hunter Morgan added another shot. The Hokies were paced by Ricardo John’s eight shots en route to 28 shots during the game. Lauretano added five while Merlin Baus and Essome each logged four.

VMI returns to action Saturday with a 3 p.m. kick against UNC Asheville at Patchin Field.

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