A few hours after climbing back into the national soccer rankings, the East Tennessee State soccer team proved it belonged.
David Geno scored off a pass from Frank Doumbe with 13:48 left Tuesday night as the 22nd-ranked Bucs beat Virginia Tech 1-0 at Summers-Taylor Stadium.
“All the credit to our guys,” ETSU coach Scott Calabrese said. “They beat a very good Virginia Tech team tonight.”
In front of a crowd of 1,189, the Bucs outshot the Hokies 14-10 and created many more goal-scoring chances than their opponent from the Atlantic Coast Conference. ETSU’s performance caught the attention of Virginia Tech coach Mike Brizendine, whose team had beaten No. 1 North Carolina a week and a half ago.
“They have a good team, a beautiful venue here, a good crowd,” Brizendine said. “It’s a great situation here. I give Scott credit. He’s done a great job.”
Goalkeeper Ryan Coulter posted his fifth shutout as the Bucs improved to 6-1. Virginia Tech fell to 3-4.
Doumbe set up the winning goal when he broke through the Tech back line on the right wing. As he sprinted toward the post, he sent a low, hard cross into the middle. Geno, who was running toward the goal, simply banged it home for his second game-winning goal in a row.
It was fitting that Doumbe assisted on the winner. The speedy junior midfielder had an active game, setting up several scoring opportunities in the first half.
“We’ve wanted to get Frank more involved and get him the ball more because he’s such an explosive player,” Calabrese said. “He’s so dangerous. He has the ability to beat people, and once he does, all sorts of good things can happen.”
Geno’s goal was his team-leading fourth. He also had the winner against Davidson on Saturday. That one was deflected. This one was clean.
“Geno, in and around the goal, is just a talented goal scorer,” Calabrese said. “He’s got a knack for it. He’s very composed. When he gets around the goal, if he gets it, there’s a good chance it will end up in the back of the net.”
ETSU had five scoring chances in a scoreless first half, and Doumbe was involved in three of them.
In the 19th minute, Doumbe beat a defender on the right wing and sent a low cross into the penalty area. ETSU’s Itode Fubara got a foot on it just in front of the goal, but as he was being hit, his shot was deflected wide.
Eight minutes later, Doumbe dribbled 30 yards and got free for a left-footed blast from 18 yards out. He hit the shot flush, but the ball sailed just high and wide.
With 11:20 left in the first half, Doubme almost struck again. He broke through the back line, gathered a pass and flicked a shot with the outside of his right foot, forcing Tech goalkeeper Kyle Renfro to make a diving save.
Aaron Schoenfeld seemed sure to make it 2-0 in the closing minutes when he headed the ball into the air close to the goal and waited for it to come down with an open net in front of him. Instead, by the time the ball fell to his feet and he shot, a Tech defender was able to knock it off the line and harmlessly away.
It didn’t matter, though, as the Bucs managed to keep the Hokies off the board.
“This gives us confidence,” Calabrese said. “We know we can compete with any team. We feel like when we play close to our potential, we can win against any college soccer team.”
ETSU plays at Withrop on Friday before playing host to No. 23 Furman on Sunday. The Bucs are in the midst of a stretch of four games in eight days.