Editor’s Note: Let’s welcome Virginia Tech middie Patrick Greenwood to the LaxAllStars family. Patrick will be keeping us updated on lax in Hokie country and the team’s race to the tournament! Take it away, Patrick!
The Virginia Tech Hokies Men’s Lacrosse team traveled up north to Miami of Ohio to kick off the 2015 season. The first game matched the Hokies up with 19th ranked Davenport on Saturday.
Virginia Tech 13, Davenport 8
The Hokies showed some first game jitters and ended up in a dogfight with the Davenport Panthers. Virginia Tech was slow out of the gate with too many turnovers and some defensive breakdowns. Davenport sophomore midfielder Devin Benson anchored the Panthers offense allowing them to hang close in the first half.
Sophomore midfielder Timmy Nordbrook got the Hokies offense clicking in the second quarter and the Hokies went into halftime leading 5-3. Virginia Tech came storming out of the locker room with inspiring play and came out with a four goal run to take the lead 9-3. The Hokies seemed to get a little complacent and were unable to put away the Panthers. Davenport countered with three goals of their own to cut the lead to 9-6.
Davenport then made it 10-8 early in the third quarter. However, the Hokies were able to weather the storm and scored three more consecutive goals to take the lead 13-8. The Hokies defense then stiffened with strong play and some good saves from goalie Bryan Cooper. They held on for the win by a final score of 13-8. The Hokies were led by a strong offensive performance by Timmy Nordbrook who notched 3 goals and 3 assists. The defense was led by Westminster transfer Andrew Baird who shutdown the Davenport attack and was a vacuum on all of the ground balls.
Virginia Tech 11, Miami 2
The second game for the Hokies saw a matchup against the Miami Redhawks. The snow was falling in Oxford, as the Hokies took to the field for their second game in two days. This was a much more complete effort as Virginia Tech dominated the game from start to finish.
The Hokies came out firing and took a 5-0 lead by the end of the first quarter. Virginia Tech tallied two more in the second quarter to take the lead 7-0 at halftime. Sophomore attackman Jack Keller led the Hokies offense with 2 goals and 2 assists in the first half, but the real story was the defense, led by goalie Bryan Cooper. Cooper was an absolute wall in this game, stopping 16 of 18 shots, not allowing the Redhawks to ever build any momentum.The defense also completely dominated the Redhawks, keeping up a shutout until late in the 4th quarter.
The Hokies offense struggled with a little bit of complacency in the second half, with sloppy play and way too many turnovers. This could have been the cold weather or the tough visibility, but the Hokies don’t want to make excuses. They held on by a final score of 11-2, but will need to pick up their play if they want to continue to pick up wins.
Next week Virginia Tech will enjoy spring break in Texas, as they are set to play Texas and Texas State. Both teams were in the preseason top 25, but the Longhorns struggled in their trip out West causing them to drop from the rankings as did TSU with losses to Colorado, Colorado State and Texas A&M.
The Hokies are currently ranked #10 in the MCLA poll, but certainly cannot avoid a slip-up in the next few weeks. Spirits are high heading in to spring break as the team’s new Nike mitts just arrived and are ready to be broken in!
Check out the team website for the full stats and roster from each game and follow the Hokies on Facebook and Twitter to keep up with the boys from Blacksburg all season long!