RICHMOND, Va. – At approximately 8:36 on Friday night, all the citizens of the Metro Richmond area may have heard a big collective sigh. That sigh was coming from VCU's Sports Backers Stadium and the Virginia Commonwealth University women's soccer team.
The sigh came when the Rams tallied back-to-back goals late in the second half en route to a 2-1 victory over the Fightin' Blue Hens of the University of Delaware.
"We had been playing so good defensively that coming into this weekend, we knew we had to take some risks on the offensive end," Co-Head Coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. "This is now or never time for us, so we had to come out and force the issue and that's exactly what we were able to do."
For the first six games of the Colonial Athletic Association slate (732:28 total), the Rams had battled every team close but could only find the back of the net on one occasion leading to a tough 0-4-2 mark in conference play.
That all went away in a span of 2:25 in the second half tonight.
The first came in the 73rd minute when Carly Edgcomb forced a turnover on the defensive end and sped up the middle, flipping a pass down the right side to freshman Bex Kunz. Kunz lofted a feed into the middle of the box, where sophomore Lauryn Hutchinson headed her first goal of the season into the back of the net for a 1-0 VCU advantage.
Kunz got one for herself in the 75th minute when junior Heather Hovanesian gathered a loose ball just outside the box, found Kunz on the right side and the Boise, Idaho native blasted a shot into the upper right corner to push the lead to 2-0.
"Bex is such a versatile player and you saw that tonight," Roberts Sahaydak said. "Myriam went down for a little time tonight and Bex was able to play great on the back line and then we moved her back up top and she dominated. We knew that she is that type of athlete and it's great for us as a coaching staff to have that flexibility."
Delaware would try to put a little scare in the Rams when Andrea Luttio was able to get her corner kick to bounce into the upper left corner of the net in the 86th minute, but the stifling defensive unit of the Black & Gold was able to preserve VCU's first conference win of the season.
The two minute scoring flurry by the Rams in the second half was indicative of the whole contest with VCU controlling play all night and outshooting Delaware by a tally of 21-12, 10 of those shots were on target.
The Black & Gold will return to Sports Backers on Sunday afternoon for the final home contest of the season when Drexel comes to town for a 1 p.m. contest. Prior to the match, VCU will honor its lone senior, Myriam Bouchard.