WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Illini held No. 11 Virginia Tech to one goal but couldn't score themselves in losing their opening match of the Wake Forest Invitational.
The Hokies improved to 7-0-0 after handing Illinois (3-2-1) its second shutout loss of the season. The Illini also failed to score against then-No. 5 UCLA on Aug. 26 in Los Angeles.
Virginia Tech scored the only goal it would need in the eighth minute when it converted on a corner-kick opportunity. Shannon Mayrose, standing at the top of the 6-yard box, deflected a shot by Julia Goldsworthy into the net.
"A lackluster start on a hot day doomed us early," Illini interim head coach Jeff Freeman said. "While we responded well, we have to be better from the first whistle to the last."
The Illini nearly scored in the final 20 seconds, but Niki Read's shot sailed just over the crossbar.
The Hokies outshot Illinois 14-7, including 9-2 in the second half, and held a 9-2 advantage in corner kicks.
"We still need to do a better job looking to play with more purpose every time we have possession of the ball," Freeman said. "Too many poor decisions and technical mistakes caused us to defend much more than was necessary."
Virginia Tech goalkeeper Dayle Colpitts, making her second start of the season, made three saves. Illini keeper Steph Panozzo faced two shots on goal.
Illinois concludes play in the tournament at 1 p.m. Sunday against No. 17 Wake Forest.
Meanwhile, Illini junior midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo and the U.S. Under-20 National Team will be vying for a gold medal today at the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Tokyo. The Americans and defending champion Germany square off at 5:20 a.m. CDT for the title. The match will be broadcast live on ESPNU and ESPN3.
The U.S. has won the tournament twice, defeating Canada in 2002 when it was a U-19 event, and most recently defeating Korea in 2008. Germany also is a two-time U-20 World Cup champion.