RICHMOND, Va. – For their first three seasons at the helm of the Virginia Commonwealth University women's soccer program, Co-Head Coaches Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak and Tim Sahaydak seemed to be hit by the injury bug every year and dealt with only two or three reserves.
This year, the Sahaydak duo is making up for that all at once and that total team effort was on display Friday night in the Sunshine State as the Rams dominated Stetson University, 3-0, outshooting the Hatters 21-4.
"It was an outstanding team effort tonight from our girls, I can't be any prouder," Roberts Sahaydak said. "They really did a great job jumping out on Stetson and continuing to keep the pressure all night."
VCU grabbed control of the pace right from the start with four corner kicks in the first nine minutes and finally broke through when junior Jessica McNamara (Virginia Beach, Va.) gathered a loose ball and blasted a shot from 14 yards into the upper left corner for her first collegiate goal and a 1-0 Black & Gold advantage in the 26th minute.
Less than 80 seconds later, sophomore Bre White (Manassas, Va.) blasted home a deflection off freshman Bex Kunz (Boise, Idaho) from 10 yard outs to push the lead to 2-0.
"Our starters did a great job executing the game plan and jumping out to an early lead, which allowed us to use our depth," Roberts Sahaydak said.
However, there was no drop-off with VCU's bench as the Rams continued to pressure Stetson, unleashing 12 second-half shots.
Sophomore Aisha Allen (Stafford, Va.) added some insurance in the 67th minute for the Black & Gold when she picked up a deflection off classmate Leah Gallie (Palmerston North, New Zealand), turned right and ripped off a shot from 15 yards out into the back of the net for a 3-0 lead.
The defense took over from there, limiting the Hatters to just two shots per half and picking up a second straight shutout for the Rams.
"I can't tell you how proud I am of our reserves," Roberts Sahaydak said. "Ever chance we get to give some experience to them is great and to see them go out there and gain confidence with tremendous play is awesome. It just gives us as a coaching staff even more confidence in the depth that we knew we possessed this year."
VCU stays in the Sunshine State until Sunday when they travel to Orlando, Fla. to take on the Golden Knights of Central Florida in a 1 p.m. showdown.