Virginia Tech stuns No. 1 UNC
James Shupp scores lone goal in second overtime period
BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Virginia Tech's James Shupp scored the game-winning goal in the 103rd minute and sophomore goalkeeper Kyle Renfro notched his second career shutout as Virginia Tech defeated No.1 North Carolina 1-0 in double overtime in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams on Saturday.
“I’m very pleased with the way we performed tonight. We defended well against a very good North Carolina team who has talented players and is well-coached,” Virginia Tech head coach Mike Brizendine said. “I couldn’t be happier for the boys.”
In the first half, the Hokies (2-2-0, 1-0-0 ACC) had a good chance in the seventh minute when junior midfielder Robert Alberti got his head on the end of a Tech free kick, but his effort went just wide. Renfro, who posted a career-high nine saves, made a leaping save off a shot from UNC’s Cooper Vandermaas-Peeler with a minute remaining in the first half to keep the contest scoreless entering halftime. North Carolina outshot Virginia Tech 8-1 in the first period.
Eight minutes into the second half, UNC’s Enzo Martinez ripped a shot from outside the box which hit the near post. The rebound came out to the Tar Heels’ Kirk Urso who followed with a low shot but Renfro made a recovering save to keep the game tied at 0-0. The game would remain tied after 90 minutes, forcing sudden death overtime.
In the extra session, Tech was able to create more offense as junior forward Michael Garrick turned and hit a shot just wide of the near post at 95:18. Renfro again made a big save in the 98th minute when he snared Jordan Gafa’s deflected shot.
The Hokies’ then stunned the Tar Heels 2:31 into the second overtime period with the only goal of the match. The goal originated with a long throw-in from the left side by Tech that was flicked on by freshman midfielder Kevin Reitzel. The ball bounced in the box several times and eventually came through to an open Shupp on the back post who finished off the game-winner. It was Shupp’s first goal since 2009 and his first game-winner as a Hokie. The assist was also Reitzel’s first collegiate point.
“We had a great effort from the guys tonight,” Brizendine said. “They wanted to win it and it was a great result."
Although UNC (3-1-0, 0-1-0 ACC) held a 22-8 advantage in shots, Virginia Tech had eight corners to the Tar Heels’ seven. Renfro played all 102:31 in net and finished with the career-high nine saves while his counterpart Scott Goodwin had two saves.
“Kyle Renfro showed tonight what he is capable of, and that’s keeping us in the game,” Brizendine said. “He made some big saves and he just kept us in it and that’s what you hope your goalkeeper can do, especially in big games.”
The win was Tech’s first against North Carolina since 2007. It was also the Hokies’ first win over a top-ranked team since 2004 when Tech beat ACC rival Duke 1-0 in Durham.