Rams' tournament run ends with 4-1 loss to Dayton in Atlantic 10 Championship

The Basics

  • Score: Dayton 4, VCU 1
  • Records: VCU (7-10-4, 3-2-3), Dayton (13-5-3, 5-1-2)
  • Location: Atlantic 10 Championship – George Mason Stadium – Fairfax, Va.
  • The Short Story: After winning games on back-to-back days as the eighth seed, the VCU men's soccer team's run in the Atlantic 10 Tournament came to a close with a tough 4-1 loss to a red-hot Dayton team, who ended the year as the NCAA's top scoring offense. Junior Dakota Barnathan scored VCU's lone goal, while Dennis Castillo, Pierre Gardan, RJ Roberts and Jorge Herranz were named to the All-Tournament team. 
  • Video: Dakota's Goal 

How It Happened:

  • Rafael Andrade Santos looked for an early lead on a free kick in the ninth minute but Dayton goalkeeper Oliver Hansen was there to stop the chance. Eli Lockaby continued the momentum with a header off Jorge Herranz' corner minutes later, but he missed wide.
  • In the 14th minute, Dayton took a 1-0 lead behind a goal from Kissima Bojang.
  • With ten minutes remaining in the first half, Kai Marshall looked for the equalizer with a pair of shots, but the Flyers' backup keeper Justin Saliba was there to keep Dayton's 1-0 advantage going to the break.
  • The Flyers extended their lead when Alex Amankwaah found the back of the net in the 59th minute.
  • A header from Dakota Barnathan put the Rams on the board in the 72nd minute off a Herranz corner. 
  • Dayton answered immediately extending their lead to 3-2 with a goal from Maik Schoonderwoerd. The Flyers added another taking a 4-1 lead as time winded down. 

Rams on the All-Atlantic 10 Tournament Team
Dennis Castillo, D
Pierre Gardan, GK
RJ Roberts, D
Jorge Herranz, F

Quotable:

"In the end, playing three games in four days was always going to be a difficult challenge for us. Especially to have the energy today to be able to be as good as we needed to be to beat a very good, experienced and athletic Dayton team. We weren't sharp enough on the ball to be able to break their pressure as well as we needed to and by the time we got ourselves going, we were already down 1-0. I thought we did well to get some opportunities towards the end of the first half but couldn't finish them off with a goal." -- Head Coach Dave Giffard

"After we spotted them the second goal on a restart, I was still confident that we would get back in it, and we did so to go 2-1, but give Dayton credit, they answered right back to make it 3 and then we had a guy sent off. Although we kept fighting until the end, that was a tough hill to climb." -- Head Coach Dave Giffard

"I'm proud of this very young and inexperienced group for getting better each week and for believing in each other and playing for the shirt down the stretch. We will be back." -- Head Coach Dave Giffard 

Noteworthy:

  • Pierre Gardan registered 6 saves, which is a career high for the sophomore.