VCU Battles No. 9 New Mexico to 1-1 Draw

FINAL: VCU 1, No. 9 New Mexico 1 (Richmond, Va.)

RECORDS: VCU (0-1-1), No. 9 New Mexico (1-0-1)

VCU STARTERS: #21 Wells (GK), #2 Owusu, #3 Castillo, #7 Monge Solano, #8 Barnathan, #12 Belmar, #16 Duffie, #18 Shiffman, #19 Keita, #23 Manel, #24 Fisher

NEW MEXICO STARTERS: #0 Lisch (GK), #3 Gibbons, #5 Niele, #6 McKendry, #7 Rogers, #10 Kafari, #11 Calderon, #12 Venter, #14 Wehan, #21 Oniel Fisher, #24 Hansen

THE BASICS:

  • VCU battled No. 9 New Mexico to a 1-1 draw Friday night at Sports Backers Stadium.
  • The Lobos scored just before intermission to take a 1-0 lead at the half before sophomore Devon Fisher netted the equalizer in the 56th minute for his first goal of the season.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • VCU goalkeeper Andrew Wells made his first save of the match on a shot off the foot of Michael Calderon in the 22nd minute. 
  • The Rams had a chance four minutes later when junior Kharlton Belmar fired a shot from the top of the box but New Mexico keeper Michael Lisch made the stop.  Junior Jose Manel then gathered the rebound and found the lower left corner of the net but a hand ball negated the goal.
  • New Mexico threatened again in the 36th minute when Calderon drilled the far post from outside the box.  Wells then came up with back-to-back saves on point blank strikes from Michael Kafari and James Wypych less than 20 seconds later.
  • The Lobos eventually got on the board just before intermission when Wypych sent a cross to James Rogers, who finished into the lower right of the net for a 1-0 lead.
  • VCU responded in the 56th minute when junior Assane Keita played a through ball down the middle of the field to Fisher.  Lisch charged to the top of the box where the ball deflected to his right and Fisher finished into the far post to even the score at 1-1.
  • New Mexico tried to answer just over 10 minutes later when Calderon found Wypych, who drilled the left post.
  • VCU had another look in the 84th minute when Ritchie Duffie drove down the right side and sent a cross in front of the net to the far wing.  Fisher played the ball back to Belmar, who fired a strike from the top of box but Lisch made his second save of the night to keep the match tied.
  • Both teams tallied a pair of shots each in the two overtime periods but couldn't break the tie.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • New Mexico held a 21-5 advantage in shots; however, just six were on goal.  Meanwhile, three of VCU's five shots were on frame.
  • Belmar led the Rams with two shots, both on frame.
  • Wells collected five saves in the net for VCU.
  • Calderon fired a game-high nine shots for New Mexico.

QUOTABLE:
"I was proud of the guys' effort tonight against a very good New Mexico team.  We had a very good week of training and we felt much more prepared to play tonight than we did last weekend.  Now we'll need to turn it around for another tough game at Maryland on Sunday."
-Head Coach Dave Giffard

WHAT'S AHEAD:
VCU travels to No. 13 Maryland on Sunday, Sept. 8.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. from College Park.  The Rams continue their three-match road swing with a visit to fifth-ranked Akron on Sept. 13 before facing Niagara on Sept. 15.  VCU returns to Sports Backers Stadium on Sept. 21 against No. 12 Coastal Carolina.

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