October 22, 2011

RAMS FALL IN DOUBLE OVERTIME TO HOST DRAGONS

PHILADELPHIA – The VCU Men's Soccer team suffered a 2-1 defeat in the second overtime in the team's match with host Drexel University on Saturday evening at Vidas Field.

The Dragons scored the game-winning goal off a throw-in from 20 yards out of on the left side of the field in the game's 108th minute. Drexel's Ken Tribbett met the ball on the near post and flicked it to the far post, which Tal Bubil headed into the right side of the net, handing Drexel the victory.

With the setback, the Ramas fall to 9-7-0 overall and 4-4-0 in the Colonial Athletic Association, while the Dragons improve to 4-9-2 and 3-4-1 in the CAA.

"Give all credit to Drexel, they out worked, out fought and out played us today and they absolutely deserved the result," said VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard. "We gave away two shocking goals on restarts and got outworked for the ball all night. This time of year you have to grind out results and give a whole lot more than we did tonight if you want to play into November."

The Rams had several chances in the first half to strike, but came away empty handed. The best chance came in the 31st minute after some nice dribbling through the Drexel defense by junior midfielder Joseph Haboush. Haboush made his way through several Dragon defenders, before touching the ball to junior forward Yoram Mwila at the 18-yard box. Mwila passed the ball back several yards to sophomore midfielder Romena Bowie, before Bowie placed a shot just wide of the net.

The Dragons earned a penalty kick in the 37th minute after a tackle by a VCU defender inside the 18-yard box. Tribbett fired his shot towards the right side of the net, but VCU goalkeeper Josh Pantazelos made a diving stop to his left to stop the shot and curl it up, negating a chance for a rebound.

At the end of the first half of play a combined 16 shots were taken, with each side firing off eight attempts. The Rams held a 2-0 edge in corner kick attempts.

VCU pulled ahead in the 65th minute off a goal coming from a throw in on the right sideline at  the midfield line. Senior defender Nick Rich quickly threw the ball to freshman defender Assane Keita, who moved it to Bowie. Bowie looked up the field saw Johnson streaking through the Drexel backline and played a perfect ball through the air. Johnson collected the ball, took one touch and placed his shot just inside the right goal post.

The Rams missed a chance to add a second goal a minute later, as Johnson played a ball through the six-yard box from the right side, to the far post, where freshman forward Daniel Haehre was moving towards. Haehre was able to muster off a shot, but it went outside the post for a Drexel goal kick.

The Dragons evened up the contest in 68th minute of play, coming from the left corner kick spot. Drexel's Brandon Zeller sent a cross into the six-yard box, which Malcolm LeBourne headed off the right inside netting.

With play winding down in regulation, Drexel looked to tally a goal in the final minute of play. Drexel's Michael Pataia fired off a shot from the right side of the 18-yard box, but Pantazelos made a sprawling save to his right to snare the attempt, but left a short rebound. The Birgminham, Ala., quickly dove at the rebound to stifle the chance/

At the start of the second overtime, the Rams gained a one man advantage as the Dragon's Brandon Zeller was issued his second yellow card of the contest.

The Rams continued to mount pressure in the contest, but were unable to come away with a goal. Allowing Drexel to end the contest with the goal from Bubil.

VCU finished the match with a 20-18 edge in shots and held a 5-4 corner kicks advantage.

Pantazelos notched five saves for the Rams, while Pentti Pussinen staved off six shots for the Dragons.

The Rams will have several days to regroup before there next match, as the non-conference contest is not scheduled till Friday at 7 p.m. against High Point. The game will be played will be presented live on national television by the Fox Soccer Channel.

"Now we have a week to get ready for what will be a very tough game against High Point on FSC before we finish out with three CAA contests," added Giffard.

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