RALEIGH, N.C. – VCU held NC State to just a two shots in the second half, including a 30-minute drought, but a one-timer in the 27th minute proved to be just enough for the Wolfpack in a 1-0 win over the Rams in their season opener Friday night at Dail Soccer Field.
The match marked VCU's 10th straight game decided by one goal or less, dating back to Sept. 26, 2010. Five Rams registered a shot on the night with four different Black & Gold players finishing with a shot on goal.
"It was a tough opening match against a great opponent," said Co-Head Coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak. "NC State came out strong and was dangerous in the early minutes. Unfortunately, we started a bit on our heels and they capitalized. I'm happy that we continued to get better as the game progressed and had a few very good opportunities to score in the last few minutes. We'll look to carry the momentum into Sunday's game at Elon."
VCU junior Breiana White had a look in the 17th minute but Wolfpack keeper Kim Kern was there to make her first of four saves on the night.
After firing six shots with two on frame to start the match, a one-timer off the foot of Tanya Cain proved to be the game-winner in the 27th minute. Julia Sandridge sent a ball into the right corner to Megan Proper, who then fired a cross to setup the score.
Cain was at it again in the closing seconds of the first half but junior goalkeeper Kristin Carden stood strong registering her third save of the stanza to keep the Rams within a goal at intermission. Carden also made stops in the 15th and 21st minutes. NC State fired nine first-half shots with four on target, while VCU managed three with one on frame.
The Rams held the Wolfpack offense at bay in the second half, but couldn't find the net. After Stephanie Bronson's strike sailed wide less than a minute in, VCU held NC State without a shot for the next 30 minutes.
VCU continued to battle in the meantime, firing a trio of looks – freshman Cristin Granados in the 62nd minute, Carden in the 76th and sophomore Taryn Cressy in the 87th – but Kern made stops on each shot to keep the Rams off the board.
NC State finished with 11 shots to VCU's seven with both squads firing four on goal. The Wolfpack held a 6-1 margin in corners with five coming in the first half.
The Black & Gold faced its second Atlantic Coast Conference opponent in a week. VCU fell 2-0 against Wake Forest in an exhibition match last Sunday.
The Rams conclude their two-game road swing on Sunday, Aug. 21 against Elon at 2 p.m. VCU opens its home slate against Marshall on Aug. 26 in the annual VCU Invitational. Kickoff is set for 6 p.m. from Sports Backers Stadium.