Over the next few weeks we'll count down the Top 10 moments in Virginia Tech sports in the 2010-11 sports season. Only one moment per sport is eligible for the countdown, otherwise this would just be seven or eight football moments and then it might as well have just been the football Top 10 and done in January. And since I was too lazy to do that and there isn't anything going on during the summer we're doing this. Hope you enjoy.
The move to the ACC has been less than kind to Virginia Tech's women's lacrosse program. Coming into the 2011 season, the Hokies were 1-24 against league foes with a lone win coming in 2009 against Boston College in overtime. The long-struggling Hokies hadn't finished a season above .500 since 2000, when they played in the Atlantic 10, and were winless in their previous 33 games against ranked opponents going into their game with No. 16 BC March 12 at Thompson Field.
Tech came into the game, the ACC opener for both teams, at 5-2 after starting the season 4-0. Boston College was 6-0. The Eagles' game in Blacksburg represented the end of a grueling seven-game road trip to start the season, including a pair of games in Florida.
The Hokies got off to a hot start, leading 5-1 15 minutes into the game and 9-3 at halftime thanks to two goals each from Ryan Rotanz, Jessica Nonn and Allie Emala. All three would play a key role in helping the Hokies try to preserve their lead in the second half.
While Tech came out on fire in the first half, the desperate Eagles would play equally well in the second part of the second half. Rotanz scored her third goal of the game on an assist from Emala to make the score 11-6, but a furious comeback by BC saw them score five of the game's next six goals.
With the help of a 6-0 ground all advantage in the half, BC was able to fire 19 shots at Tech goaltender Alex Gale in the game's final 30 minutes. BC scored with 1:25 to pull within one for the first time since it trailed 2-1 early in the first half. The Hokies' upset hope appeared to be fading.
However, Tech won the ensuing faceoff and managed to keep possession and run out the rest of the clock. It was its first win over a ranked opponent since April 24, 2004, at George Mason and its second ACC win in program history. Rotanz, Nonn and Emala each finished with three goals to lead the Hokies and Emala added two second-half assists. Gale made 12 saves.
The Hokies were unable to maintain the momentum from the win, dropping their next four ACC games, all against ranked opponents. BC got its revenge in the first round the ACC tournament and advanced to the NCAA tournament, losing to Northwestern in the first round.
All was not lost for Tech, which finished the season 10-8, its first winning season in over a decade. The Hokies lose Emala, their leading scorer, but will likely return the rest of their major contributors for the 2012 season.
Other Highlights from the Women's Lacrosse Season:
- Hokies start 4-0.
- Emala scores points in all 18 games during season.
- Hokies dominate Liberty, 18-2.