FINAL: VCU 1, Butler 0 (Richmond, Va. – Sports Backers Stadium)
VCU STARTERS: #89 Carden (GK), #7 Kunz, #8 Conrad, #9 Granados, #10 Cressy, #12 Edgecomb, #15 Moore, #20 Acosta, #23 Hovanesian, #32 Boyer, #33 Johansen
BUTLER STARTERS: #0 Burton (GK), #2 Kaylor, #4 Mahoney, #6 Melendez, #9 Maccagnone, #10 Kotsakis, #14 Ventimiglia, #15 Colosimo, #17 Allen, #20 Milam, #25 Backscheider
THE BASICS: Senior Wendy Acosta converted a penalty kick in the 80th minute to give VCU a 1-0 victory over Butler Sunday afternoon at Sports Backers Stadium. The Rams, who posted their second straight and fourth shutout in their last five matches, handed the Bulldogs their first loss in Atlantic 10 Conference play this season.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Claire Milam tried to give Butler (8-4-3, 2-1-2 A-10) the lead in the 14th minute but her shot hit the post.
- VCU had a chance in the 16th minute when junior Courtney Conrad sent a header to Acosta in the middle of the box, but Acosta's one-timer was blocked.
- Thirty seconds later, sophomore Cristin Granados fired a shot from the top of the box but Butler goalkeeper Julie Burton made the stop.
- The Rams had another look in the 24th minute. Acosta sent a cross to Conrad, who then passed to sophomore Maren Johansen inside the box. Johansen launched a strike but Burton was able to punch the ball over the net to keep the game scoreless.
- Butler's Sophia Maccagnone cleared the wall of VCU defenders off a free kick in the 29th minute but Rams goalkeeper Kristin Carden made the save.
- With just over 25 minutes to play, Elise Kotsakis drove toward the middle of field and fired a long shot from about 30 yards out but it sailed high of the net.
- Junior Taryn Cressy sent a free kick from the right wing in the 67th minute but Burton punched the ball in the air where Granados fired the rebound high.
- Acosta had another look in the 77th minute when she launched a strike from nearly 30 yards away but Burton again punched the ball off the cross bar and over the net.
- Acosta was at it again in the 80th minute when she was taken down inside the box by Burton. On the ensuing penalty kick, Acosta pushed the ball into the lower left post to put the Rams on top 1-0.
- VCU tried to add an insurance goal 30 seconds later when Johansen connected with Granados, but her shot went just wide.
- Carden made a diving save on a strike from Maccagnone with just under three minutes to play. Butler made one final push with 30 seconds left when Claire Milam's shot from the right side went wide of the near post.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- Granados (6) and Acosta (4) combined to take 10 of VCU's 11 shots. Johansen had the other for the Rams.
- Carden collected three saves en route to her second straight shutout and fourth in her last five matches.
- VCU has allowed just two goals in the last 450 minutes, outscoring its opponents 12-2 during that stretch.
"It was a great weekend for our team. I was really proud of them getting six points against two strong teams in our conference. The focus for this weekend was to out battle our opponents and outhustle them, and we focused on being sharp. We had a great week of training, and its tough to be sharp on Sunday because you are more mentally down from Friday night. That was a tough battle for us today, but we pulled out the win, so you have to be proud."
-VCU Co-Head Coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak on the Rams' 2-0 weekend
"[Kristin Carden] is a strong defensive presence for us… She brings a lot of confidence to our back four and our whole team. She has the ability to make game-changing plays and she makes big saves.
- Roberts Sahaydak on Kristin Carden's strong play in goal for VCU
"I was a little bit nervous [on the penalty kick], but I took a deep breath and was able to beat the goalkeeper."
-Senior Wendy Acosta on her game-winning penalty kick
VCU concludes its season-long five-game home stand on Friday, Oct. 19 against Richmond for Senior Night. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Sports Backers Stadium. The Rams then hit the road for their final two matches of the regular season at Xavier (Oct. 26) and Dayton (Oct. 28).