September 13, 2013

No. 19 VCU Knocks Off No. 7 Akron 1-0; Rams Defeat Second Straight Top 15 Team on Road

FINAL: No. 19 VCU 1, No. 7 Akron 0 (Akron, Ohio)

RECORDS: VCU (2-1-1), Akron (3-2-0)

VCU STARTERS: #21 Wells (GK), #2 Owusu, #3 Castillo, #7 Monge Solano, #10 Bowie, #12 Belmar, #16 Duffie, #18 Shiffman, #19 Keita, #23 Manel, #24 Fisher

AKRON STARTERS: #1 Pina (GK), #2 Souders, #3 Abdul-Salaam, #4 Gallego, #5 Foldesy, #6 Najem, #7 Brenes, #8 Souto, #11 Seremba, #14 Stevenson, #23 Derschang

THE BASICS:

  • Sophomore Dennis Castillo's header in the 75th minute was all 19th-ranked VCU needed as the Rams knocked off No. 7 Akron 1-0 Friday night in front of 3,319 fans at FirstEnergy Stadium. 
  • The Rams picked up their second straight road win over a Top 15 program in less than a week as VCU also defeated No. 13 Maryland 3-2 on Sept. 8.
  • VCU handed Akron just its second home loss in more than five years, and the Zips' first since a 1-0 setback against Michigan State on Nov. 2, 2011.  Akron is now 85-5-9 at home dating back to the 2006 season.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Junior Juan Monge Solano had a look for VCU in the 22nd minute but Akron goalkeeper Fernando Pina made his first save of the match.
  • Senior goalkeeper Andrew Wells made five first half stops in net for the Rams to keep the game scoreless at intermission.
  • Sophomore Devon Fisher fired a shot wide in the 74th minute before the Rams took the lead a minute later when Castillo, who took a cross from Monge Solano, finished with a header past Pina to put the Rams on top 1-0.
  • VCU remained strong on defense, holding Akron without a shot on goal in the final 30 minutes of the match.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • VCU improves to 5-1-1 against ranked opponents the last two years (2-0-1 in 2013).
  • Wells posted seven saves, five in the first half, en route to his first shutout of the season.
  • Castillo, Fisher and Monge Solano each registered a shot for the Rams with two of those strikes on frame.
  • Akron outshot VCU 28-3; however, just seven of the Zips' shots were on goal.

QUOTABLE:
"I was proud of the guys tonight for grinding out a win in a very tough environment against one of the best teams in the country.  Now we have to focus on getting the guys turned around for Sunday."
-VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard

WHAT'S AHEAD:
The Rams concludes their three-match road swing Sunday, Sept. 15 against Niagara at 3:30 p.m.  VCU returns to Sports Backers Stadium on Sept. 21 against Coastal Carolina.

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