Virginia Tech battled South Carolina at Thompson Field for their fourth overtime match of the season. Tech came through the gates shooting with an early goal from Nico Quashie, but it wasn’t enough to hold back the Gamecocks. USC responded with their own goal to force overtime, where a shot fired at distance to lock in a 2-1 victory for the team ranked 189 out of 206.
The question that has to be asked is “HOW?” Coming into this, Virginia Tech was ranked seventh in the nation. Tech was a top 10 team, but they could not stop a team that’s almost as close to the last spot as the Hokies are the first spot. This should not be happening. Despite the easy early goal from Nico Quashie in 16’, who won them their last game against Syracuse, the Gamecocks never looked truly phased. Before their first goal, an offsides prevented a would-be goal in the opening minutes. Not long after, a heavy strike was blocked by the post. It wasn’t too surprising to watch Paul Quildies finally knock in a cross off the corner is the 42’.
The second half was agony for the Hokies. Tech played the possession game, but could not get looks from inside the box. Back and forth, up and down, the Gamecocks kept forcing the Hokies to stay around the box. USC on the other hand played on the counter-attacks. If the ball wasn’t in Tech’s attacking third, it was certainly in the Gamecocks. Swaneveld held on the second half, stopping any shots on goal from the Gamecocks ensuring overtime on their end. Meanwhile, the Hokie forwards ensured overtime by not really taking any shots.
Overtime was more of the same. A lot of possession from the Hokies that amounted to no goals, and quick, meaningless counters from the Gamecocks. This match was a stalemate bound to be a tie. A final counter attack from USC came with just 25 seconds left on the clock. From outside the box, Luca Mayr lined up and fired a bullet at the top corner above Swaneveld! He fell to knees, hands covering his face. Swaneveld’s body said it all. A tough loss that should’ve never been. Hokie fans hated to see that shot, but it was a beauty.
🎥 » game, set, MATCH. @MayrLuca's game-winner with 19.4 seconds left in double OT was a BANGER 🤙@SportsCenter @NCAASoccer #Gamecocks🐔⚽️ #SCtop10 pic.twitter.com/Lc0nFB0tWN
— Gamecock M. Soccer (@GamecockMSoccer) October 3, 2018
This match summed up Virginia Tech athletics perfectly. The Hokies lost a match with mere seconds remaining on the clock against a team that had no business even competing on the same level. Tech is now 3-3 in their last six matches, and haven’t decided whether they want to be a team that’s going to keep winning or keep losing. Whether this team can compete against UNC in their next match this Saturday is a true coin toss.
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