September 13, 2013

Conrad, Ernest Lead Rams to 2-0 Shutout Against Maine in Home Opener

FINAL: VCU 2, Maine 0 (Richmond, Va. – Sports Backers Stadium) 

RECORDS: VCU (3-4-0), Maine (3-2-1)

VCU STARTERS: #18 Kruse (GK), #2 Krasko, #6 Ritter, #7 Kunz, #8 Conrad, #9 Wojcik, #10 Cressy, #19 Ernest, #32 Boyer, #33 Johansen, #37 Moik

MAINE STARTERS: #00 Swant (GK), #2 Misener, #3 Malone, #4 Varin-Tremblay, #5 Bijman, #6 Leon-Palmer, #8 Leclerc, #10 Achille, #12 L'Abbe, E., #14 L'Abbe, J., #16 LaBonnte

THE BASICS:

  • VCU scored a pair of goals within a nearly two-minute stretch in the second half to defeat Maine 2-0 in its home opener Friday night at Sports Backers Stadium.   
  • Senior Courtney Conrad scored her second goal of the season to give the Rams a 1-0 lead in the 48th minute before sophomore Jackie Ernest scored her first career goal in the 49th minute.
  • The Rams picked up their third victory in their last five outings.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • In the 28th minute, VCU senior Taryn Cressy fired back-to-back shots in front of the net.  However, Maine goalkeeper Lauren Swant made her only save of the match on Cressy's first attempt before her follow-up shot was blocked.
  • Conrad nearly gave the Rams a lead at intermission but her shot drilled the near post from about six yards out in the 40th minute.
  • VCU eventually took the lead on its first look in the second half.  Senior Jessie Krasko made a run down the right side of the field before sending a cross to Conrad in front of the net where she beat Swant to give the Rams a 1-0 advantage in the 48th minute.
  • The Black & Gold then added an insurance score less than two minutes later when Ernest netted her first career goal.  Sophomore Abbey Ritter played a cross to the far post where sophomore Sharon Wojcik tapped to the center to Ernest, who then finished in the middle of the net.
  • VCU goalkeeper Emma Kruse registered her first save of the night in the 53rd minute when she made a diving stop on a shot off the foot of Charlene Achille.  Kruse then dove to snag a cross to the far post moments later.
  • Conrad struck the near post again with a shot in the 65th minute.
  • Kruse preserved the shutout with her second save in the 88th minute on a shot from the top of the box.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • Conrad fired a game-high four shots, while Cressy added three for VCU.
  • Kruse, who finished with two saves, notched her first shutout of the season.
  • Wojcik recorded her first assist as a Ram.
  • VCU outshot Maine 15-2 with seven different Rams registering a shot.
  • The Black & Gold held a 6-1 edge in corner kicks.

QUOATABLE:

"I think we are becoming more comfortable and more confident in ourselves.  We know that we are a good attacking team.  It's just a matter of finishing those opportunities so we put ourselves in a position to win early on.

"It's nice to get home since we've been on the road all season.  I know the girls love being back here so we look forward to Sunday."
-Head Coach Lindsey Vanderspiegel 

WHAT'S AHEAD:
VCU hosts Campbell on Sunday, Sept. 15 at 2:30 p.m. before traveling to former CAA rival and Atlantic 10 newcomer George Mason to open conference play on Sept. 20.

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