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RU Men’s soccer knocks off Hokies 2-1 in final preseason match

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RADFORD, Va. – Radford freshman and Blacksburg, Va. native Garland Smith scored a goal and assisted on another to help lead the Highlanders to a 2-1 victory over their New River rivals, Virginia Tech, at Cupp Stadium on Saturday night.

The match was the final exhibition of the preseason for both teams.

Smith took a long-distance pass from the backfield from Jamie Summers and dribbled to an angle to beat Tech keeper, Kyle Renfro to give the Highlanders a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute of the game.

Radford added to the lead just two minutes later. Bernardo Ulmo and Smith assisted a header by Daniel O’Keefe on a corner kick set play to give the Highlanders a quick 2-0 advantage in just under eight minutes.

“This was an emotional and intense preseason game,” RU head coach Marc Reeves said. “We started very well, made good decisions, and shared the ball well to go up two goals. We took our foot off the gas a little and let Tech back in it in the first part of the second half.”

David Clemens cut the RU lead in half finding a loose ball of a corner kick in front to Radford keeper, Dane Wilson. He found the back of the net with an assist from Andre Thomas and Robert Alberti.

The Hokies kept the pressure on the Radford defense, but the Highlander back line answered each threat and held on for the victory.

“We had to defend a lot of set pieces in the second half. They had numerous long throws and corner kicks, and our guys really responded well,” Reeves said.

Sam Legg replaced Wilson in goal for the final 18 minutes and recorded a save in the process. Wilson finished the night earning the victory in goal and notching three saves.

The Highlanders open the regular season Friday at Penn State.

“Both of our preseason games have been great to learn and improve, but now comes Penn State and the real thing. We need to be ready,” Reeves said.