Final Score: #24 VCU 2, Rhode Island 0
Location: Baujan Field (Dayton, Ohio)
Records: VCU 12-5-0 (6-2-0 A-10), Rhode Island 10-6-3 (4-3-1 A-10)
The Short Story: For the third year in a row, the VCU Rams will be playing for the Atlantic 10 Championship on Sunday as they defeated the Rhode Island Rams by a final score of 2-0. A pair of second half goals would lift the Rams to victory, and will now play UMass for the title on Sunday afternoon.
- Rafael Andrade Santos notched his 12th goal of the season in grand fashion. He has now scored in VCU's last five games, and has scored seven goals over that span.
- Siad Haji scored his second goal of the season, and has now scored in back-to-back games.
- Earning assists on the night were Luc Fatton, Fortia Munts, and Travis Cooke.
- VCU outshot Rhode Island 17-14 overall, while Rhode Island led the way in shots on goal 6-4.
- Mario Sequeira made six saves in his 12th win of the season. It was also his eighth shutout of the season.
- The Rams have now won 12 games for the first time since 2012.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- It would be a struggling start for both sides in the opening half, as either team refused to give an inch. The opening 20 minutes would be physical and hard-nosed, which only led to a pair of shots apiece to both VCU and Rhode Island.
- VCU would have a decent shot in the 29th minute, as a free kick would be awarded to the Black and Gold. Santos would take the shot, but it would sail high of the net.
- In the 38th minute, a dangerous play into the box would send Sequeira into a scramble, as he got knocked down. A Rhode Island shot would ring the crossbar, but not going in. VCU would finally clear and get the ball out of trouble.
- Things would stay even at 0-0 going into halftime.
- As the second half got started, things heated up on the field. A big sequence of saves by Sequeira in the 52nd minute would keep things scoreless.
- The Black and Gold got the offense rolling, in the 57th minute, putting up three shots over a six-minute span.
- Everything would come to light in the 70th minute, as VCU would get the go-ahead goal from Santos. A great maneuver by Fatton inside the 18 would lead to an open look slid into the middle of the box. Santos would collect the ball backwards, and heel the ball into the low left corner of the net for a 1-0 VCU lead.
- Haji would add the cushion in the 82nd minute, as he would get a ball across the 18 from Munts that deflected off of Cooke. He would also finish with a back heel, giving VCU the 2-0 lead.
VCU returns to the pitch this Sunday, November 12 for the Atlantic 10 Championship Final. Kickoff is set for 12 p.m. in Dayton, with the Rams taking on the UMass Minutemen. The winner will receive the league's automatic bye into the NCAA Tournament.