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Tech puts hot ACC start to test against No. 2 Duke – VT

BLACKSBURG – Coming off its 2-2 draw at No. 4 North Carolina, the Virginia Tech women’s soccer team will buckle down for another ACC challenge on Sunday, Sept. 26, when Tech entertains No. 2 Duke at Thompson Field. Sunday’s 5 p.m. match between the Hokies and the Blue Devils will air live on ACC Network.
No Test Is Too Tough:  Virginia Tech was 10 minutes away from a historic road win on Thursday at North Carolina, staking the 2-0 lead during the 80th minute courtesy of Nicole Kozlova’s sixth goal of the season. Despite conceding twice to the Tar Heels down the stretch, the Hokies’ 2-2 draw marked their first point earned against UNC since the 2011 campaign and the program’s first-ever away point registered during series history. Tech enters Sunday’s match against Duke having collected four points from its last two matches against ranked sides, prevailing at No. 12 South Carolina, 1-0, on Sept. 12. Considering those two outings against the Gamecocks and the Tar Heels, the Hokies have scored first on both occasions and led for more than 60 percent of the combined match time. Overall, Tech is unbeaten this year when scoring first (5-0-1), as it has done during each of its five home victories this season.
Home, Sweet Home:  Undefeated at Thompson Field this fall, Virginia Tech heads into Sunday’s match against Duke seeking its eighth consecutive victory in Blacksburg, which would tie its longest home winning streak since the 2008 and 2009 seasons. The Hokies have turned in a 5-0-0 record on their home pitch this season, scoring 17 goals at a +15 differential. Tech has yet to concede a first half goal at home across all competitions and has kept clean sheets on three occasions – including the Hokies’ ACC-opening victory against North Carolina State (Sept. 18). Nicole Kozlova leads Tech with four home goals this fall while Emily Gray and Tori Powell have netted three home goals apiece during the 2021 campaign.
Skinner Stays Solid:  Sophomore goalkeeper Alia Skinner set a career high with 14 saves during Tech’s midweek trip to No. 4 North Carolina. The second-year netminder enters Sunday’s match against Duke ranked third among ACC keepers in goals against average (0.93) and fourth in save percentage (.763) – one year after leading the conference in total saves (83). Skinner boasts a career record of 15-10-1 at Tech and is one win shy of tying Caroline Kelly for sixth place on the Hokies’ all-time victories list.

Virginia Tech is off until Saturday, Oct. 2, when the Hokies travel to Pittsburgh for a 7 p.m. ACC kickoff against the Panthers.

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