October 1, 2013

VCU Suffers Heartbreaking 2-1 Double OT Loss at Virginia

FINAL: Virginia 2, VCU 1 – 2OT (Charlottesville, Va.) 

RECORDS: Virginia (5-3-1), VCU (3-4-1)

VCU STARTERS: #21 Wells (GK), #2 Owusu, #3 Castillo, #7 Monge Solano, #8 Barnathan, #10 Bowie, #12 Belmar, #16 Duffie, #19 Keita, #23 Manel, #24 Fisher

VIRGINIA STARTERS: #30 Gal (GK), #3 Brown, #7 Wharton, #8 Allen, #9 Madison, #11 Bird, #12 Lennon, #13 Sullivan, #15 McBride, #16 Salandy-Defour, #20 Foss

THE BASICS:

  • A golden goal in the 107th minute handed VCU a heartbreaking 2-1 double-overtime loss at in-state foe Virginia on Tuesday evening. 
  • The Rams erased a 1-0 deficit when junior Kharlton Belmar scored his team-leading third goal of the season in the 65th minute, but Eric Bird eventually netted the game-winner with just over three minutes left in overtime to give the Rams their third one-goal setback of the season.
  • The last three games in the VCU-Virginia series (dating back to 2009) have been decided in double overtime.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Junior Ritchie Duffie had a look that sailed wide in the 15th minute before classmate Jose Manel followed with a pair of strikes in the 17th and 19th minutes; however, Virginia goalkeeper Jeff Gal made back-to-back saves.
  • The Cavaliers took advantage of an opportunity less than a minute later when Eric Bird connected with Darius Madison, who then fired a low strike to the inside post from the top of the box for a 1-0 lead.
  • VCU senior goalkeeper Andrew Wells posted his first save on another offering from Madison in the 27th minute.  The Richmond, Va., native made another stop in the 48th minute on a shot off the foot of Riggs Lennon.
  • The Rams had a pair of looks early in the second half as sophomore Dennis Castillo's header shot went high in the 50th minute before Gal made his third save of the match on a strike from Duffie less than five minutes later.
  • VCU eventually netted the equalizer in the 65th minute when Belmar took a feed from sophomore Isaac Owusu and sent a blast just under the crossbar from about 10 yards out, which knotted the game at 1-1.
  • The Black and Gold continued to pressure and nearly took the lead in the 69th minute but Gal made yet another stop on junior Juan Monge Solano's strike.
  • Wells made another snag in the 81st minute to preserve the tie.  The Rams also blocked a pair of Virginia shots in the final 10 minutes of regulation.
  • Bird had a look for the Cavaliers in the 92nd minute but Wells posted his fourth save.  Ryan Zinkhan's shot was then blocked two minutes later.
  • Wells recorded another save in the 101st minute before Bird scored the game-winner for Virginia with a 12-yard strike with just over three minutes left in overtime. 

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • Five of VCU's seven shots were on goal.
  • Belmar scored for the ninth time in his career, including his team-leading third goal of the season.
  • Owusu registered his first career assist.

QUOTABLE:
"Sometimes our game can be very cruel.  I thought we did some good things tonight, but were a little sloppier in possession than we needed to be.  We have improved each and every week so far, and tonight was no different, but when you play against other top teams, the little details all matter.

"That is the most talented UVA team that I have seen in a long time, and you can't give the ball away as many times as we did in bad spots against good players.  That being said, we managed most of those moments, but there are a few details that we have to clean up on both sides of the ball to be better in both boxes.  Ultimately, that was the difference tonight.  I'm very proud of this young group for continuing to be process oriented against very talented opponents each and every time we step on the field.  We will learn the lessons from tonight, and come back against another very strong opponent in Saint Louis on Sunday."
-VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard

WHAT'S AHEAD:
VCU returns to Sports Backers Stadium on Sunday, Oct. 6 against No. 22 Saint Louis at 1 p.m.  The match against the Billikens begins a season-long four-game homestand.  In all, VCU plays seven of its next nine games in Richmond.

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