September 25, 2012

VCU Loses OT Heartbreaker to Virginia 1-0 in Front of Record Crowd of 2,242

FINAL: Virginia 1, VCU 0 - OT (Sports Backers Stadium - Richmond, Va.)

VCU STARTERS:
#21 Wells (GK), #3 Castillo, #5 Haboush, #7 Monge Solano, #10 Bowie, #11 Johnson #14 Herrera Meraz, #16 Arbelaez, #18 Shiffman, #22 Seymour, #24 Fisher

VIRGINIA STARTERS:
#1 LaCivita (GK), #3 Brown, #6 Thomsen, #7 Wharton, #10 Bates, #11 Bird, #13 Sullivan, #15 McBride, #16 Salandy-Defour, #17 James, and #27 Poarch

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Virginia's Will Bates fired a shot from the top of the box less than seven minutes into the match but VCU junior goalkeeper Andrew Wells made a diving save to keep the Cavaliers off the board early.
  • Junior Jason Johnson launched a strike but it hit the crossbar in the 19th minute.  Senior Juan Arbelaez then fired back the rebound but Virginia goalkeeper Spencer LaCivita made his first stop of the game.
  • Arbalez sent a cross in front of the net in the 27th minute.  Johnson got a foot on the ball but LaCivita made a snag in the lower right corner of the net.  Sophomore Mario Herrera Meraz fired a shot less than three minutes later but LaCivita made his fifth save of the period.
  • VCU continued to pressure the Cavaliers in the 31st minute when Johnson registered back-to-back shots. His first attempt deflected off the keeper.  He then fired back the rebound but a Virginia defender saved the second offering before it reached the net.
  • Bates had a look again for the Cavaliers in the 42nd minute but Wells made another diving stop on a long strike from outside the box.  Virginia had one more chance before intermission when Scott Thomsen's shot was blocked following a free kick.
  • The Cavalier's first threat of the second half came in the 57th minute but Wells made a save on Thomsen's second shot of the night.
  • Bates, Eric Bird and Todd Wharton each fired looks for Virginia in the 59th minute but all three attempts were blocked.
  • Six minutes later, Herrera Merez blasted a shot off the crossbar from about 25 yards out as the Rams' nearly took the lead.
  • Herrera Merez had another look in the 68th minute but LaCivita collected his sixth save to keep the game scoreless.  Freshman Devon Fisher launched a shot five minutes later but it sailed just wide of the near post.
  • In the 75th minute, senior Joseph Haboush slipped a pass to Fisher, who was cutting through the box, but LaCivita charged out and made the save.
  • Wells made his fourth stop on a Bates shot with just over 12 minutes left in regulation.
  • Fisher launched another shot from outside the box but narrowly missed the far post with just over three minutes left in regulation.
  • After each team fired a shot in the first overtime, Virginia was in the right place at the right time in the second OT.  Marcus Douglas sent a cross into the box from the right corner and Cameron Chavira one-timed a shot into the middle of the net for the game-winner.

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:

  • The announced attendance of 2,242 was the largest regular season crowd in Sports Backers Stadium's 13-year history, surpassing the 1,183 fans that witnessed the Rams' 4-0 victory over Virginia Tech on Aug. 31, 2011.  The stadium record is 3,127, which also occurred against the Hokies on Nov. 26, 2003 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
  • Fisher registered a game-high six shots, Johnson collected five (three on goal) and Herrera Meraz finished with four.
  • Despite allowing a goal in double overtime, Wells still shares the lead for fewest allowed in the Atlantic 10.  He has surrendered just five goals in seven matches (682 total minutes).
  • Virginia snapped VCU's six-match unbeaten streak to start the season.  It was also the Rams' third overtime game.
  • Tuesday's match marked the first time since 2008 VCU and Virginia met at Sports Backers Stadium.  The Rams scored three unanswered goals to defeat the Cavaliers 3-1 in their last meeting in Richmond.

WHAT'S AHEAD:
VCU, which plays its next four matches at home, entertains Northeastern on Saturday, Sept. 29.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.  The Rams then begins its Atlantic 10 schedule against nationally ranked Charlotte on Oct. 5.

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