FINAL: VCU 2, La Salle 1 (Philadelphia, Pa.)
VCU STARTERS: #21 Wells (GK), #3 Castillo, #5 Haboush, #10 Bowie, #11 Johnson, #16 Arbelaez, #18 Shiffman, #22 Seymour, #23 Manel, #24 Fisher, #25 Bates
LA SALLE STARTERS: #77 McCarthy (GK), #4 Farrell, #6 Stanton, #7 Roach, #8 Chapman, #9 Kalpokas, #10 Plumhoff, #16 McIntyre, #22 Pink, #25 Friskey, #26 Turchi
THE BASICS: Junior Jason Johnson scored a pair of second half goals to lead VCU to a 2-1 come-from-behind victory at La Salle Sunday afternoon. Johnson erased a 1-0 deficit in the 47th minute before netting the game-winner in the 81st minute. He now has a team-leading 11 goals this season.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- La Salle (8-5-2, 2-3 A-10) got on the board in the 15th minute when Jason Plumhoff converted a long strike. Joe Farrell sent a pass from about 25 yards out, where Plumhoff dribbled to the left and fired a long shot to the right side of the net for a 1-0 Explorers lead.
- VCU goalkeeper Andrew Wells made his first save of the match less than a minute later off the foot of Rob Friskey.
- Senior Juan Arbelaez fired back-to-back shots for the Rams in the 18th minute. However, his first offering was saved by La Salle keeper John McCarthy and his second went wide.
- VCU (8-2-4, 4-1-1 A-10) remained on the attack as freshman Dennis Castillo forced McCarthy to make consecutive saves in the 22nd and 23rd minutes.
- Plumhoff had another shot wide in the 31st minute, while Johnson also missed wide for VCU seven minutes later.
- McCarthy posted his fourth save of the game on a strike from sophomore Kharlton Belmar in the 41st minute.
- Johnson eventually scored the equalizer on VCU's first chance of the second half. Arbelaez found Johnson with a cross from the right side, where he slipped a shot into the left post to knot the game at 1-1 in the 47th minute.
- Two minutes later, McCarthy made his fifth save on a shot from sophomore Jose Manel. Freshman Jack Bates followed with a header high 30 seconds later.
- Wells came up with stops on shots from Jidell Roach in the 57th minute and Plumhoff in the 62nd minute. McCarthy returned the favor with a save on freshman Devon Fisher's offering four minutes later.
- Wells made three more saves during the next 17 minutes to keep the match tied until Johnson eventually scored his second goal to put VCU ahead 2-1 in the 81st minute. Senior Joseph Haboush sent a pass from the right side to a streaking Johnson, who slipped a shot inside the left post to give the Rams the lead for good.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- Johnson scored his team-leading 10th and 11th goals for VCU. Sunday also marked his second multi-goal game of the season.
- Johnson and Fisher fired four shots apiece for VCU, while eight different Rams collected a shot.
- Wells made six saves in the net.
- Both teams finished with 18 shots apiece, while VCU held a 6-2 advantage in corner kicks.
"Today was a gutty performance at an extremely difficult place to play. It's the smallest Division I field I have ever been to. Combine that with an older turf surface and it plays even smaller than the 64 yards wide that it actually is. Add to that, a very good, tough and hard working opponent, and you can see why La Salle rarely loses at home... With both Mario Herrera Meraz and Juan Monge Solano sitting the game out due to card suspensions from Friday night, and coming off a very poor team performance against Fordham, our boys stepped up, gritted their teeth and showed their character as well as their quality today. I was very proud of all of our players today. Now we must turn our attention to another big weekend of games with Xavier and Dayton coming to Richmond this weekend."
-VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard
WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU, which has just three regular season matches remaining, returns home for back-to-back games against Xavier (Oct. 26) and Dayton (Oct. 28). The Rams then conclude their regular season slate at Richmond on Nov. 2.