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   Welcome to TSLMail #198 - Thursday, October 20, 2005    
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Virginia Tech's Other "Football" Team
by Chris Coleman,

You probably already know that Frank Beamer’s football team is pretty good. You probably didn’t know that Oliver Weiss’ football team is having a great season as well. Weiss coaches the Virginia Tech men’s soccer team, and his team is on a roll. After beginning the season 1-3-3, Tech has rallied with seven consecutive victories and soared to #13 in the national rankings.

The Hokies have four games remaining in the regular season before beginning play in the ACC Tournament. On Friday, October 21, Tech travels to Clemson to take on a Tiger team that is struggling. Clemson stands dead last in the ACC with an overall record of 5-4-2, but a conference mark of 0-4-1.

On October 26, Tech hosts Radford. Like the Hokies, Radford is also having an outstanding season. The Highlanders are 8-3 overall and 5-0 in Big South play. Radford will be the last out-of-conference opponent the Hokies will face this season. The match is set to begin at 7 pm.

After playing Radford, Tech will face two consecutive top ten opponents in #2 Virginia and #6 Maryland. These two games will help decide the postseason pecking order of the ACC. On Wednesday night, The Terrapins defeated the Cavaliers 3-0 in College Park. Maryland’s win means both teams now stand 5-1 in ACC play.

The Hokies travel to Charlottesville to take on Virginia on Saturday, October 29. They will host Maryland on Friday, November 4 at 7pm.

Virginia Tech is not known for its men’s soccer program, but it can’t be denied what a great job Oliver Weiss has done in Blacksburg. He holds the Virginia Tech men’s soccer record with a career winning percentage of .592. He led the Hokies to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in school history in 2003, where they defeated Clemson in the first round. He has also proven to be a very effective recruiter.

Weiss is well-known for his victories over highly ranked teams. During the 2004 season, the Hokies only won two ACC matches as they made the transition from the Big East to a tougher ACC. However, those two victories came against #1 Duke and #2 Virginia. So even while the soccer team wasn’t winning a lot of games, they were beating outstanding teams and showing that they could be competitive at the ACC level.

This season we have seen more of the same from Weiss' team in their performance against ranked opponents. The Hokies only loss to a ranked team this year came on the road against #15 Wake Forest, where Tech fell 2-1. They tied #19 Boston College and #7 Duke earlier in the season. The month of October has been especially kind to the Hokies. They are 6-0 since the month began with a road victory over #4 UNC 1-0, which was followed up a week later by a 4-0 blowout of #11 NC State.

There is no question that Oliver Weiss has an outstanding background coaching soccer. He came to Virginia Tech from the University of North Carolina in 2002. He coached at UNC from 1999-2001, where was the top assistant coach on the Tar Heel staff. He helped win a national championship in Chapel Hill during his last season.

Before his stint at UNC, Weiss coached at William and Mary, where he helped the Tribe into the NCAA Tournament in three of his four seasons in Williamsburg. He was also an assistant at New Hampshire for two seasons.

Weiss has been around winning soccer teams his entire life, and he brought that experience and winning attitude with him to Blacksburg. There is no question that he has elevated the status of the program since his arrival. The only question that remains is how far can he take it?

Operation Provide Classroom Comfort

The Virginia Tech Iraqi Outreach Committee has initiated a program called "Operation Provide Classroom Comfort". The program originally began in 2003 by Major Mark Sherkey and his Field Artillery battery (C/1-377 th FA) in Iraq. The goal of the project is to rebuild schools, transform classrooms into learning environments and provide teachers and students with the tools to facilitate learning.

In the original program, over 2,500 pounds of school supplies were provided for over 2,000 Iraqi students. As words spread about the program, the project continued to grow. Help came in from 26 states. Because of the help that was provided, Maj. Sherkey’s unit was able to develop a good relationship with the local villages.

With the help of Virginia Tech, the project has been reborn. The Virginia Tech Iraqi Outreach Committee was formed on April 28, 2005 and began to plan the effort. With the help of Hokie fans, their goals can be met.

The project will run from October 22 through November 5. There will be a venue for collection at Wal-Mart in Christiansburg, VA for this time period. There will also be seven collection points at Lane Stadium at the Boston College game on Thursday, October 27.

You can help Operation Provide Classroom Comfort by doing any of the following:

  • Visit the display at the Christiansburg Wal-Mart and purchase a pre-packaged school supply kit for $10.
  • Bring any of the requested school supplies to the Boston College game on October 27. Requested supplies include notebook paper or pads (no spiral), pens, pencils, colored pencils, colored markers, sharpeners, glue and basic art supplies.
  • Writing a check. Checks can be written to:

Virginia Tech Foundation
Attention: Operation Provide Classroom Comfort
2000 Kraft Drive
Blacksburg, VA 24061-0354

To find out more information about Operation Provide Classroom Comfort, visit their website.

This week's Kroger "Pro Challenge" winner is...

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-- Will Stewart Updates From the Past Week
Game Projection: Virginia Tech vs. Maryland
October 19, 2005
Should the Hokies fear the Turtle? I think not… Looking at Maryland’s statistics in their first six games, one stat sticks out dramatically as an indicator of the Terps’ success. In their four wins, Maryland has rushed for at least 162 yards (against Wake Forest) and over 200 yards in three of the games. In their two losses against Clemson and West Virginia, Maryland rushed for 56 and 50 yards respectively. Just based on this information, stopping the run would look to be the key for this game. If the Hokies stop the run and turn Maryland into a one-dimensional passing offense, Tech should win.

Matchups to Watch: Virginia Tech vs. Maryland
October 19, 2005
While many are calling this a “trap” game and comparing the contest to the West Virginia game in 2003, I would more closely compare this game to the Georgia Tech game last year. The West Virginia game was truly a “trap” game because the Mountaineers had not shown they could play to Tech’s level (with the exception of their inspired play against Miami) and came into the game struggling at 2-4. Maryland has certainly shown more potential and, at 4-2, the Terps are much less likely to be overlooked by the Hokies.

Commitment Update: Gwynn Park's Rashad Carmichael
October 19, 2005
5-9, 170-pound Rashad Carmichael wasn’t a starter at Gwynn Park (Brandywine, MD) until this, his senior season. He made the most of his opportunities last season, corralling a team high five interceptions as a back-up cornerback. In a full-time role, he’s making the most of his playing time on both sides of the ball.

Gloster Down to 3
October 19, 2005
Drew Gloster, one of the top tight end prospects in the country, has narrowed his list to three schools. The 6-4, 220-pound Good Counsel (Wheaton, MD) product discusses which schools have made the cut as well as how he plans to go about making his final decision.

Davis Comments on Virginia Win
October 19, 2005
6-3, 190-pound defensive back prospect Greg Davis made the short trip from Blue Ridge School to Charlottesville on Saturday to see Virginia’s 26-21 win over Florida State. Davis, a highly rated in-state recruit, talked about Saturday’s atmosphere and what impact, if any, the game may have made on his decision.

Keys to the Game: Maryland
October 18, 2005
With the first half of the season securely in the books, the Hokies kick off the back end of their schedule this Thursday in College Park against the Maryland Terrapins. Looking to avenge last year’s embarrassing blowout in Blacksburg, the Terps are ready to pull out all the stops in an effort to upset the Hokies.

A Gym Rat's Notebook: 2005-06 Preview: Perimeter Could be Right Stuff
October 18, 2005
“And they all came to talk about it. They came to cry and laugh and fight about it. While searching for the Promised Land, tired souls with empty hands asking to themselves, ‘Is this all there is’?” Those words from the song “Is This All There Is” by Los Lobos have been quite applicable in recent years when applied to the basketball program at Virginia Tech. Mired in deep mediocrity for far too long, the program languished in the dust-bin regions of the Big East while being a collective drain on the psyches of program followers. All the while, people were waiting for something good to transpire during the winter that they could embrace.

Advance Auto Parts Hokie Hotline Notes for 10/17/05
October 18, 2005
Monday night's Hokie Hotline featured Jim Weaver, Kevin Rogers, and Frank Beamer. Weaver answered questions on home game revenue and conference revenue, plus ticket availability and the status of the West side expansion. Rogers answered questions about Marcus Vick, and Beamer talked about his new contract and a variety of other topics.

Game Preview: #3 Virginia Tech at Maryland
October 17, 2005
After beginning the season 6-0 for the sixth time in the past seven years, the Virginia Tech Hokies will put their national championship aspirations on the line in College Park, MD for a nationally televised Thursday night showdown with the Maryland Terrapins on ESPN.

Hokies Number Three in BCS Standings
October 17, 2005
The first set of BCS Standings for the 2005 season were released Monday afternoon, and just like the polls, Virginia Tech is ranked third behind USC and Texas. Georgia is narrowly behind the Hokies in the fourth spot, while Alabama rounds out the Top Five.

Miller Comments on Game, Visits
October 17, 2005
Highland Springs High School standout Jarrell Miller did not make it to UVa’s win over Florida State, but he did watch the game on television. The 6-3, 235-pound linebacker, rated a 4-star recruit the #4 overall recruit in the state, gave his thoughts on UVa’s win and names four schools he will officially visit.

Top GA Prospect Hopes to Decide Soon
October 17, 2005
6-2, 230-pound Morrice Richardson has drawn offers from all across the country. The Westlake (Atlanta, GA) star has been able to narrow his list to four schools and plans to have a decision in the very near future. Where does Virginia Tech stand with this talented recruit?

A Midseason Look, Part 2
October 14, 2005
Yesterday, we touched on how the Hokies' strengths are carrying them through this season, and how their areas of concern have stayed hidden and haven't hurt them. Today, we'll talk about the keys to Tech's success thus far and in the future, and we'll take a look at the pleasant surprises and disappointments to date.

Predictions for This Weekend's Games
October 14, 2005
Virginia Tech has a much-needed bye this week, but a number of games should have the Hokies’ attention. Everyone will be watching the USC-Notre Dame clash, but Hokie fans should also be paying attention to the Texas-Colorado game for a possible upset. The ACC has a couple of big games, the foremost being the FSU-UVA battle, which the Wahoos desperately need to win to salvage the season. I’ll give my predictions and also take a quick look back at the Marshall game from last week.

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