September 22, 2013

VCU Battles Elon to 1-1 Draw, Pushes Unbeaten Steak to Five Matches

FINAL: VCU 1, Elon 1 - 2OT (Richmond, Va. – Sports Backers Stadium)

RECORDS: VCU (5-4-1), Elon (5-1-2)

VCU STARTERS: #18 Kruse (GK), #2 Krasko, #6 Ritter, #7 Kunz, #8 Conrad, #9 Wojcik, #10 Cressy, #32 Boyer, #33 Johansen, #35 Gogolin, #37 Moik

ELON STARTERS: #1 Murphy (GK), #2 Russo, #10 Krauss, #11 Glenn, #13 Mackey, #20 Tanhauser, #21 Hallman, #22 Dennion, #23 deGroot, #27 Stark, #31 McGorty

THE BASICS:

  • VCU battled Elon to a 1-1 double-overtime draw Sunday afternoon at Sports Backers Stadium, which pushed its unbeaten streak to five matches.
  • The Rams, who are 4-0-1 in their last five outings, took a 1-0 lead in the 35th minute on junior Maren Johansen's team-high tying fourth goal of the year.  However, Elon netted the equalizer in the 80th minute on penalty kick by Simi Dhaliwal.
  • VCU has outscored its last five opponents 14-3, while allowing just two goals in the last 420 minutes.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Senior Taryn Cressy had a look in the 12th minute but her strike went just wide of the far post from about 20 yards out.
  • Kara DeGuisto nearly put Elon on the board in the Phoenix's only attempt of the first half when she fired a shot off a corner kick from the top of the box, but her offering missed the far post in the 23rd minute.
  • Sophomore Sharon Wojcik had a look from about 25 yards away three minutes later but Elon goalkeeper Kate Murphy made her first save of the match.
  • Cressy drove down the right side and sent a cross to Wojcik in front of the net in the 30th minute but Murphy made a diving stop to keep the Rams off the board.  Sophomore Natalie Moik then fired a shot high from about 25 yards away less than two minutes later.
  • The Rams remained on the attack as sophomore Kailyn Slade found Johansen in the middle of the box in the 33rd minute but her one-timer missed wide right.
  • Murphy then made back-to-back saves on shots from Cressy and Johansen in the 35th minute before Johansen eventually fired back her own rebound to put VCU on top 1-0.
  • After attempting just one shot the entire match, Elon had consecutive looks in the 56th minute. Kendall Stanley's strike was blocked before sophomore goalkeeper Emma Kruse made her first stop on Kimmie Krauss' attempt seconds later.
  • Murphy collected her fifth save of the match in the 61st minute when she made a diving snag on a left-footed strike by Wojcik from top of box.
  • VCU was called for a handball in the 80th minute to set up a penalty kick for Dhaliwal, who then snuck a shot into the right post to tie the game at 1-1.
  • Conrad fired a strike from about 25 yards out just over three minutes later but Murphy made another diving stop to preserve the tie.  She had another look in the 87th minute but Murphy collected her eighth save.
  • Elon had a chance midway through the first overtime as Olivia Mackey sent a cross inside the box to Rachel Hallman, who drilled the crossbar from about six yards out in the 96th minute.
  • Johansen's shot was blocked from top of box with about a minute left in first OT.  Moik then had her offering deflected 30 seconds later.
  • Wojcik had a look early in the second overtime but her strike was blocked from 15 yards out in the 101st minute.
  • VCU nearly won it two minutes later when Cressy launched a corner kick inside the box but an Elon defender stepped in front of the right post for a team save on a header from Slade.
  • Conrad sent a cross to Moik at far post in the 108th minute but Murphy made a stop on another header.
  • Slade then drove down right side of the field with about a minute left in the second overtime but Murphy collected her 10th save of the match to keep the Rams out of the net.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • VCU held a 25-10 advantage in shots, including a 12-3 margin in shots on goal. 
  • Wojcik fired a game-high seven shots (three on goal) for the Rams, while Moik registered five.  Conrad (three on goal) and Johansen finished with four shots apiece.
  • Murphy made 10 of Elon's 11 saves in goal.  The Phoenix also registered a team save in the second overtime.
  • The Rams held a 7-5 edge in corner kicks. 

QUOTABLE:
"[The penalty kick] was a tough call, but the team stayed resilient and managed to gather a couple more chances, but couldn't quite put one away.  We are happy that we are able to generate lots of offense, but it is frustrating not to put more than one in the back of the net.  To their credit, [Murphy] did have an awesome day but we do need to finish our chances.  So, it is frustrating to score five on Friday night, and only manage one today when we are generating so much offense.

"We have two weeks [until the next game]. We have a bye week next week before we head into conference.  We need some rest; we have been asking some players to play 90-minute games for us, so it will be good for us in a sense of rest and recuperation, and we will talk about the things we need to build upon."
-Head Coach Lindsey Vanderspiegel 

WHAT'S AHEAD:
Following a 12-day break, VCU opens Atlantic 10 play at UMass on Oct. 5.  Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.  The Rams return to Sports Backers Stadium against Fordham on Oct. 11.

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