The Virginia Tech Hokies opened their NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament with a 1-0 win at Thompson Field over East Tennessee State thanks to Nico Quashie's first career goal in the first half off of a corner kick. Thanks to that win, the Hokies booked their ticket to the second round with a matchup against 10th-seeded Charlotte who they drew with in Blacksburg earlier in the season.
Today's rematch produced a thriller that came down right to the end with Virginia Tech fans happy with the ending.
The Virginia Tech Hokies beat the 10th-seeded Charlotte 49ers 3-2 in a thriller that came down right to the end with Charlotte tying the game in the 83rd minute before Virginia Tech won thanks to a Nico Quashie goal in the 88th minute.
The first half was fairly quiet other than one goal from Charlotte in the 19th minute from Daniel Bruce that gave the 49ers a 1-0 lead going into halftime. The Hokies also were outshot 6-4 in the first while only having 1 first half corner kick compared to 4 for Charlotte, and while the stat line wasn't that much better in the second half in those categories, they did improve in the one category that mattered.
The Hokies started by getting a penalty early in the second half which was converted by star forward Marcelo Acuna in the 50th minute to tie the game up at 1. Then 10 minutes later in the 60th minute, Acuna got his second goal of the evening to put the Hokies up 2-1 and 30 minutes away from advancing to the round of 16.
The Hokies held on for a while in a second half in which Charlotte outshot Virginia Tech 8-6 while also having 6 corner kicks to the Hokies' 1 but eventually, the 49ers broke through with Brandt Bronico scoring in the 83rd minute to tie the game up at 2.
However, the Hokies have had a rising star in Nico Quashie who scored the only goal in Virginia Tech's win over East Tennessee State for his first career goal and today, the freshman stepped up once again in a big way.
Quashie scored in the 88th minute in what would be the game-winning goal to send Virginia Tech to the round of 16 with a 3-2 victory over Charlotte. Quashie's goal was assisted by Daniel Damiani with Quashie putting the finishing touch to send the Hokies through to the second round for the second straight week.
Quashie didn't start to earn playing time till later in the season, but Virginia Tech may have a burgeoning star for the future after his tremendous start to this year's NCAA Tournament. Meanwhile, Marcelo Acuna was once again fantastic up top with 2 goals from 3 shots to give himself an impressive 11 goals on the season. Goalkeeper Ben Lundgaard was another big reason as the Hokies' goalkeeper made 4 saves including 3 in the first half to help the Hokies get this big win.
Now, Virginia Tech has a week to heal up and get ready for a trip to Bloomington, Indiana to take on the 7th-seeded Indiana Hoosiers and while they may be underdogs, they now have a week to rest up along with having some momentum heading into this round of 16 game. Congrats to the Hokies on advancing to the round of 16 in the NCAA Men's Soccer Tournament.
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