Score: VCU 2, La Salle 1
Records: VCU (11-5, 2-3 A-10), La Salle (7-10, 2-3 A-10)
Location: DeVincent Field - Philadelphia, Pa.
The Short Story: Junior Emilie Soares and sophomore Kendell Combs scored within three minutes of each other to help the Rams to a huge, come-from-behind victory at La Salle. It was the final regular season road game for the Black & Gold, who played 12 of their 16 contests away from home.
VCU STARTERS: #1 Megan Botteri (GK), #2 Kelsey Scherrer, #4 Stephanie DeMasi, #5 Emilie Soares, #6 Kendall Farino, #7 Chelsea Hill, #12 Melanie Marotta, #16 Arialle Hess, #19 Kacie Yang, #23 Haley McBee, #24 Nicole Barry
LA SALLE STARTERS: #97 Lisa Shaffer (GK), #2 Neelam Kumar, #4 Mariel Papa, #5 Janel Paukovits, #6 Heather Barretta, #12 Maddy Tettelbach, #15 Jessica Deaner, #19 Becca Chylack, #20 Maddie Doub, #26 Olivia Leaman, #28 Olivia Shoemaker
How it Happened:
- VCU would come firing out of the gates, drawing a corner in the first two minutes and nearly grabbing a lead with a shot from Chelsea Hill, but it was blocked to keep the game scoreless.
- It would remain that way for the entire first half, but not without plenty of action as the Rams unleashed six shots in the first stanza, while holding La Salle to just one. However, the Explorers were able to do just enough to keep VCU off the board as the two teams went into the break tied up at 0-0.
- The action would pick up again in the second half with plenty of shots from both sides and several cards being handed out, but the scoreboard still remained empty heading into the final 20 minutes.
- La Salle would change that as Mariel Papa deflected a pass from Colleen Kempf into the back of the cage to give the Explorers a 1-0 lead in the 50th minute.
- Like they have many times this year, the Rams showed their resilience as junior Emilie Soares ripped off a backhanded shot past La Salle keeper Lisa Shaffer in the 58th minute to even the score at 1-1.
- Less than two minutes later, sophomore Kendell Combs deflected a pass from Chelsea Hill to give VCU their first lead of the match, 2-1, in the 61st minute.
- Junior keeper Megan Botteri and the Rams back line did the rest, keeping La Salle off the scoreboard in the final 10 minutes to preserve the huge 2-1 road victory for VCU.
Beyond the Box Score:
- The 11 wins on the year ties for the sixth-most ever by a Rams squad. It's the second-most in the past 20 years (13 in 2010)
- After posting double-digits wins just once in a span of 17 years, VCU has now done it twice in the past three seasons
- Chelsea Hill's assist on Combs' goal in the 61st minute gave her a career-high seven assists on the year. She now ranks 10th all-time on the career assists list with 17.
- VCU now sits at 2-3 in the conference, tied for fourth in the A-10 standings. Two wins next weekend secure an A-10 Conference Tournament berth
Head Coach Shannon Karl
- "Today was our 13th match on the road this season. Our team has done a great job of taking each game as it comes, one at a time, regardless of if it was on the road or at home. We are proud of our team's perserverance and ability to come back from being behind today. I am excited that they will get to finish their regular season at home and am looking forward to another critical weekend against Saint Joe's and Saint Louis."
Junior midfielder Emilie Soares
- "Today was a huge win for us. To come back from a 1-0 deficit shows a lot of heart. We fought hard from start to finish on a surface we aren't accustomed to and I coudn't be prouder of my teammates. It's important for us to now turn our attention to Saint Joe's and play with the same amount of heart we showed today."
- The Rams return home for their final regular season weekend. Friday brings the Hawks of Saint Joseph's to Richmond, followed by Saint Louis on Sunday for Senior Day. Game times are set for 3 p.m. on Friday and 12 p.m. on Sunday.