CONWAY, S.C. – Virginia Commonwealth University sophomore forward Yoram Mwila (pictured, right) scored a pair of goals and the Rams posted their third straight shutout with a dominating 3-0 victory against Howard University on Sunday afternoon in the final match of the Coastal Carolina Invitational.
After VCU (2-1-1) suffered a last second 2-1 loss in double-overtime against Florida Gulf Coast in its season opener, the Rams have not allowed a goal in three games since.
"Today's performance was much improved from Friday night," said VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard. "Our energy, ball movement and overall work rate was much closer to what we need them to be every day. With a young team that is growing and learning every day, I was very pleased to see us respond with our most dominant performance so far. We took steps this weekend toward the team we are going to be and we learned what I hope will be some valuable lessons."
Ten different VCU players registered a shot Sunday as the Rams dominated possession and allowed just two Howard strikes with one through the first 82 minutes.
VCU held a commanding 13-1 advantage in shots during the first half and the Black & Gold jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the 19th minute of play. Scoring his second goal of the season, Mwila took a feed from Paulini, maneuvered by a Howard defender and lifted a shot past goalkeeper Larry Turner to put VCU ahead early.
With time winding down in the opening period, Haboush added to VCU's lead in the 42nd minute when he sent a header into the far post following an entry pass from Gehin-Scott and the Rams took a 2-0 lead into the break.
VCU controlled the tempo again in the second half and Mwila registered his first career multi-goal performance when he put the Rams on top 3-0 in the 72nd minute. Mwila took a feed from Gehin-Scott, who collected his second assist of the day, and hooked a shot into the upper-90 along the far post.
Enjoying a quiet afternoon in the net, senior goalkeeper Gabriel Rodriguez, who posted his third straight shutout, registered a save following a strike by Howard senior Ray Ekobena in the 83rd minute, which ended a 55-minute drought for the Bison attack.
The Black & Gold held a 21-2 advantage in shots and a 6-0 margin in corners, while Howard was charged with 21 fouls to the Rams' seven.
VCU is back in action Wed., Sept. 15 when the Rams travel to cross-town rival University of Richmond. Kick-off is set for 7 p.m.