Rams Win Fourth Straight, Sixth in Last Seven with 1-0 Victory at Xavier

FINAL: VCU 1, Xavier 0 (Cincinnati, Ohio)

VCU STARTERS: #89 Carden (GK), #7 Kunz, #8 Conrad, #9 Granados, #10 Cressy, #12 Edgcomb, #15 Moore, #20 Acosta, #23 Hovanesian, #32 Boyer, #33 Johansen

XAVIER STARTERS: #1 Markesbery, #5 Twehues, #11 Dearbaugh, #14 Green, #15 Schweer, #17 Allon, #20 Eberly, #22 McGauley, #25 Whitaker, #27 Fields, #29 Sterling

THE BASICS: Sophomore Cristin Granados scored off a corner kick in the 72nd minute to give VCU a 1-0 win at Xavier Friday night.  The Rams, who clinched a spot in the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament, posted their fifth shutout in their last seven matches.  The Rams also secured their 11th victory, the most since 2007 (11).

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Xavier goalkeeper Katie Markesbery made early saves on shots from seniors Heather Hovanesian and Wendy Acosta in the fifth and 12th minutes, respectively.
  • Sophomore Maren Johansen had a look in the 22nd minute but her shot was blocked.  She fired another shot wide three minutes later.
  • VCU senior goalkeeper Kristin Carden posted saves on a pair of strikes from Taylor Dearbaugh (21', 27') and Mariah Whitaker (33').  She made two more saves during the first 20 minutes of the second half to keep the Musketeers off the board.
  • Junior Brianne Moore fired a shot in the 53rd minute but Markesbery made her fourth save of the game.  She had another shot on goal in the 83rd minute.
  • Granados eventually broke the scoreless tie in the 72nd minute when she scored off a corner kick for what proved to be the game-winning goal.
  • Mariah Whitaker had one final look for Xavier in the 87th minute but her shot was blocked.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • VCU posted its 11th victory of the season, its most since 2007 (11).
  • The Rams have won four straight and six of their last seven matches, outscoring opponents 16-3 during that stretch.
  • VCU recorded its fifth shutout in their last seven games.  It was also the Rams' ninth clean sheet of the season.
  • The Black and Gold held a narrow 11-9 advantage in shots, including a 6-5 margin in shots on goal.
  • Carden posted five saves in goal for the Rams.
  • Seven different VCU players fired a shot.

QUOTABLE:
"We knew tonight's game would provide us with a chance to firm up going to the A-10 championships.  I'm happy that we were able to get that result tonight.  The rain never stopped and that made for tough conditions and a frantic game.  Xavier put together a great performance and had some dangerous chances.  It was a great effort.  I thought in the end we were rewarded for our composure and persistence.  We are now focused on Dayton and preparing to finish out the season schedule with a great match against a team regularly at the top of the table."
-VCU Co-Head Coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak

WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU concludes the regular season on Sunday, Oct. 28 with a 1 p.m. match at Dayton.  The Rams then head to the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament, which begins Nov. 1 at Rhode Island.

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