FINAL: VCU 4, Saint Joseph's 0 (Atlantic 10 Quarterfinals – Kingston, R.I.)
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
SAINT JOSEPH'S STARTERS: #1 Neal (GK), #4 Root, #5 D'Esposito, #8 King, #11 Perkins, #13 Hawkins, #16 Circe, #17 Yozwiak, #19 Farrell, #21 Irons, #23 Mallory
THE BASICS: Third-seeded VCU posted its sixth shutout in its last nine matches with a 4-0 victory over No. 6 seed Saint Joseph's in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament on Thursday night. The Rams meet second-seeded Dayton in the semifinals Friday at 7:30 p.m.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Senior goalkeeper Kristin Carden logged a pair of first-half saves, while VCU's back line posted two stops to keep Saint Joseph's (9-7-4) off the board in the early going.
- Sophomore Maren Johansen put VCU (12-4-4) on top with her second goal of the season in the 38th minute. She took a feed from senior Gabby Wilson and beat Christine Neal, who was the 2012 Co-First Team A-10 goalkeeper, with a strike from outside the box.
- The Rams were at it again four minutes later when Granados, who fired five first-half shots, extended their lead to 2-0. Senior Breiana White sent a cross in front of the net, where Granados collected the loose ball and finished to give VCU a two-score advantage at intermission.
- Carden continued her strong play in the net in the second half, posting three more saves en route to her ninth shutout of the season.
- Junior Bex Kunz pushed VCU's lead to 3-0 in the 72nd minute when she scored off a corner kick from classmate Taryn Cressy.
- The scoring spree continued in the 85th minute as Granados found the net for the second time to extend the Rams' lead to 4-0. Senior Aisha Allen sent a pass in front of the net to Granados, who finished to give VCU a comfortable lead.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- The Rams advance to the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament in just their first season in the league. Fellow A-10 newcomer Butler also moved to the semis with a victory against St. Bonaventure earlier Thursday.
- VCU is 11-2-3 in its last 16 matches (dating back to Sept. 2), outscoring opponents 29-9 during that span.
- VCU's 12 victories this season are the most during Co-Head Coaches Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak and Tim Sahaydak's six-year tenure. It's also the program's highest win total since amassing 13 in 2005. VCU's record for victories in a season is 15, which came in 2004.
- The Rams and Flyers will meet for the second time in five days as the teams drew 1-1 in the regular season finale on Oct. 28.
"What a great team effort tonight. Saint Joeseph's came out and put us under a lot of pressure. They have some players that were a handful to defend, but I'm proud of how we were able to deal with them and find our rhythm. Once we began to settle the game down, we started creating chances and it opened up. We're very proud of this performance but we need to shift focus quickly to tomorrow's rematch against a very talented Dayton team."
-VCU Co-Head Coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak
WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU meets second-seeded Dayton for the second time in five days Friday evening at 7:30 p.m.