Virginia Tech Bumps Chapman
ROUND ROCK, Texas – Virginia Tech will be making its first-ever trip to the championship game at the 2023 MCLA National Championships presented by New Balance after the Hokies defeated Chapman, 15-9, on Thursday evening at the Round Rock Multipurpose Complex.
With the victory, Virginia Tech (17-2) will face the winner of the Liberty-Concordia game on Friday evening at 7 p.m. The championship game was moved up a day to Friday to avoid an imminent storm in the area.
Virginia Tech started the game with the advantage via goals by Will Giannelli and Grayson Barker before Liam Nelson finally cracked the egg for Chapman (17-4) with just under 10 minutes to play.
The Hokies answered on a Jared Cole’s first marker of the day followed by Aidan Smith on dodge to a low-angle rip for a 4-1 Tech lead after 15 minutes.
Nelson opened the second with a crease dive for Chapman, but less than a minute later Walker Everhart went in alone for a pole goal to push the lead back to three. The Panthers countered with two goals less than a minute apart, including Nelson’s hat trick, to draw Chapman within one, 5-4.
Virginia Tech responded with three of the final four goals of the half to take an 8-5 advantage into intermission.
Three quick goals from the Hokies to open the second half, including Cole’s hat trick, ballooned the lead to 11-5. The advantage was still 12-6 at the end of the third quarter for Virginia Tech.
Chapman made one last surge, opening the fourth quarter with goals from Dante DeCollibus and George McGuirk on crease rolls two minutes apart to cut the lead to 12-8. The Hokies countered with another three-goal run to put the game away.
Virginia Tech goalie William Eckert was outstanding on the day, finishing with 18 saves for the Hokies. In addition to Cole’s trick, Tyler Crookes and Jack Jenkins buried a pair of goals in the winning effort.
Nelson finished the evening with his three while Jackson Wells had a goal and two assists. Jason Bohlinger made five saves in the first half while Anderson Marks turned away six stops in the second for the Panthers.