FINAL: VCU 5, George Mason 1 (Fairfax, Va.)
RECORDS: VCU (5-4-0), George Mason (3-4-1)
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
GEORGE MASON STARTERS: #30 Hokanson (GK), #2 Stephenson, #3 Mitchell, #6 Herdegen, #7 Starr, #10 Babel, #15 Cardoso, #17 Montgomery, #19 Clark, #26 Connell, #27 Hodges
- VCU erased an early 1-0 deficit with five unanswered goals and cruised to a 5-1 victory at former Colonial Athletic Association rival and Atlantic 10 newcomer George Mason Friday night in non-conference action in Fairfax, Va.
- The Rams, who have won four straight and five of their last seven matches, scored three goals during an 11-minute stretch in the first half and added two more late in the second stanza.
- VCU has outscored its last four opponents 13-2 (9-2 in last two matches), while allowing just one goal in the last 310 minutes.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- VCU had a pair of looks during the first three minutes of the match as senior Jessie Krasko's header went wide 30 seconds in before sophomore Sharon Wojcik's offering sailed wide just over two minutes later.
- Senior Courtney Conrad nearly put VCU on the board in the sixth minute but Patriots goalkeeper Lindsey Hokanson collected her first save of the match.
- George Mason struck first in the 16th minute and took an early lead when Brenna Connell drove through the midfield and fired a shot that drilled the left post and bounced into the right corner of the net to put the Patriots on top 1-0.
- The Rams answered less than six minutes later when senior Taryn Cressy converted her second penalty kick of the season (third goal overall) to knot the match at 1-1.
- Junior Maren Johansen continued VCU's rally as she netted her third goal of the year from five yards out in the 28th minute, which put the Rams in front 2-1.
- Johansen was at it again less than three minutes later but her header shot was snagged by Hokanson to keep it a one-goal game.
- VCU, which held a 10-3 advantage in shots during the opening period, remained on the attack as sophomore Natalie Moik took a feed from Conrad on the near post and scored her fourth goal in two matches to extend the Rams' lead to 3-1 in the 33rd minute.
- Hokanson came up with her third save in the 42nd minute on another shot off the foot of Conrad. She then made two more stops through the first five minutes of the second half.
- George Mason had a chance to cut its lead in half in the 53rd minute when Nicolette Herdegen's shot hit the post. VCU goalkeeper Emma Kruse then collected a save as Sydney Mitchell fired back the rebound. Kruse also made stops in the 69th, 82nd and 89th minutes.
- Conrad added two mores goals in the 75th and 80th minutes to quickly put the match out of reach.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- VCU held a 16-10 advantage in shots, including an 11-6 edge in shots on goal.
- All five of Conrad's shots were on frame, including her third and fourth goals of the season, while Johansen and Cressy added three shots apiece. Including Moik, all four of VCU's goal scorers combined to fire an impressive 12 shots with 11 on goal.
- Kruse finished with five saves in net for VCU, while Hokanson tallied six for George Mason.
- The Patriots collected three shots during the first 16 minutes of the match en route to a 1-0 lead. The Rams, who scored three unanswered goals to gain control, then held George Mason without a shot the remainder of the first half. That streak, which extended into the second stanza, totaled nearly 37 minutes.
"As a staff, we are really pleased about our play this evening. To bounce back from a one-goal deficit and score five unanswered goals is a testament to our perseverance and mental toughness tonight.
"We have come into our own the past few games and teams have had to adapt to our style, which is always a compliment to the way we play. We still have some adjustments and areas of our game to pay special attention to, but the progress we have made since day one is encouraging. Our attention is now turned to a very solid and well coached Elon team for Sunday."
-Head Coach Lindsey Vanderspiegel
WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU returns to Sports Backers Stadium on Sunday, Sept. 22 against Elon. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. The Rams then take a 12-day break before opening Atlantic 10 play at UMass on Oct. 5.