Inside HOKIE SPORTS | Vol. 11 No. 1 | August 2018

I nmid-July, Chugger Adair oversaw the often arduous and sometimes unpleasant process of moving a family from one house to another. Now, with soccer season ready to commence, the Tech women’s soccer head coach hopes to oversee another major move—guiding the Hokies back into the NCAA postseason neighborhood. Last fall, Tech missed on an NCAA bid for a second straight year despite having a winning record and a marquee win. The Hokies went 7-6-5 last season, including a nice win over perennial power Notre Dame, but the selection committee held them out, presumably because of an RPI (Ratings Percentage Index) in the 50s. Two years ago, the Hokies won 11 games and sported an RPI in the 30s, but the NCAA selection committee supposedly felt that Tech lacked a marquee win and left the Hokies out. This season, the Hokies have a simpler goal—take any doubts away from the selection committee by just winning and doing so with regularity. “We have 18 games to prove ourselves,” said Adair, entering his eighth season as the head coach at Tech. “We have to make sure we do it and prove to the NCAA selection committee that we deserve the opportunity. That’s what we need to do—build our resume and do enough to establish ourselves.” For the Hokies, a return to postseason play probably hinges first on getting healthy and staying healthy. Last fall, two of their top freshmen [defender Olivia Odle and midfielder Kara Henderson] missed the season with injuries. Also, defender Jess Boytim missed time, and forward Bridget Patch was in and out of the lineup. The injuries forced Adair to shuffle players around, which in turn, affected continuity on the pitch. That primarily showed on offense, as the Hokies scored just 16 goals in 18 games. Alani Johnson, one of five seniors on last year’s squad, paced the Hokies with only four goals. So unlike in 2017, Tech needs to capitalize on its chances on offense. The Hokies had opportunities—they took 242 shots for the season, including 108 on goal—but they often failed to put the ball in the back of the net. As a result, they were shut out on five occasions and played in three scoreless ties. “We didn’t finish the ones we had,” Adair said. “In conference play, in some of those ties, we probably had a one-on-one, even in some of the losses, that we didn’t take in some of those games. You look at Clemson, and we ended up losing HOKIES Hope To Make Move Back To POSTSEASON by Jimmy Robertson Season Preview 2 18 WOMEN’S SOCCER A veteran nucleus returning has Tech head coach Chugger Adair optimistic about the upcoming season by Jimmy Robertson Mandy McGlynn 40 Inside Hokie Sports