VCU Posts Convincing 4-1 Victory Over No. 12 Xavier

FINAL: VCU 4, No. 12 Xavier 1 (Richmond, Va.)

VCU STARTERS: #21 Wells (GK), 3 Castillo, #5 Haboush, #10 Bowie, #11 Johnson, #14 Herrera Meraz, #16 Arbelaez, #18 Shiffman, #22 Seymour, #24 Fisher, and #25 Bates

XAVIER STARTERS: #31 Marshall (GK), #5 Petrick, #10 Walker, #11 Spencer, #13 Cohen, #16 Queree, #17 Hagglund, #19 Moore, #21 De Paoli, #24 Ryan, and #26 Halfhill

THE BASICS: VCU posted its second win over a ranked opponent this season with a convincing 4-1 victory against 12th-ranked Xavier Friday night at Sports Backers Stadium.  The Rams handed the Musketeers their first loss of the 2012 campaign.  Xavier also entered the match as just one of two unbeaten teams in the country.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • VCU (9-2-4, 5-1-1) jumped to an early 1-0 lead in the ninth minute. Senior Joseph Haboush fed a pass to sophomore Mario Herrera Meraz, who then fired a shot from about 25 yards out into the right corner.
  • Xavier (10-1-4, 3-1-2) had a chance to tie it up a minute later but the Rams' backline held strong and made a stop on a shot from Gino De Paoli in the box.
  • VCU remained on the attack when junior Nate Shiffman pushed a shot just wide of the net in the 19th minute.
  • Three minutes later, the Black and Gold extended its lead to 2-0. Herrera Meraz found junior Jason Johnson off of a corner kick, who then got a foot on the ball and found the upper right corner.
  • The Musketeers had another chance late in the first half on a Matt Hill shot, but VCU junior goalkeeper Andrew Wells was there for the save.
  • VCU picked up where it left off to start the second stanza. In the 50th minute, freshman Devon Fisher extended the Rams' lead to 3-0 when he cleaned up a rebound into an open net.
  • Xavier eventually got on the board in the 61st minute, cutting the deficit to 3-1.  Matt Walkerbeat beat a diving Wells on a breakaway to give the Musketeers their only tally of the night.
  • The Rams then added an insurance score in the 76th minute. Freshman Jack Bates sent a cross into the box where sophomore Kharlton Belmar fired into the left corner to give VCU a 4-1 advantage.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • With the result, VCU defeated its second ranked opponent of the year. The Rams also beat then 13th-ranked Charlotte 4-1 on Oct. 5.
  • VCU snapped Xavier's 14-game unbeaten streak, its longest school history. It was also the Musketeers' first lost since Nov. 17, 2011.
  • Herrera Meraz recorded three points on the nigh, with a goal and an assist. He has four goals and six assists this year.
  • Johnson added his team-high 12th tally of the season.
  • Fisher scored his sixth goal, while Belmar added his third.
  • Bates, who collected an assist, earned his first career point.

QUOTABLE:
"I was proud of the guys for a good performance tonight against a very good Xavier team.  We now have to turn our attention to Sunday and another very good opponent in Dayton."
-VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard

WHAT'S AHEAD:

The Rams conclude their home schedule on Sunday, Oct. 28 with a 1 p.m. match against Dayton at Sports Backers Stadium. VCU then wraps up the 2012 regular season on Nov. 2 at Richmond.

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