VCU Battles La Salle to 2-2 Draw, Rams Remain Unbeaten in League Action
FINAL: VCU 2, La Salle 2 – 2OT (Sports Backers Stadium – Richmond, Va.)
RECORDS: VCU (7-4-2, 2-0-1 A-10), (9-3-2, 1-1-1 A-10)
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
LA SALLE STARTERS: #1 Wiggins (GK), #2 Fenton, #3 Niemiec, #5 Nickels, #6 Chilcoat, #9 McVicker, #15 Haycook, #16 Kagan, #17 Aiken, #18 Washington, #19 Carbone
- Defending league champion La Salle rallied from a two-goal halftime deficit and battled VCU to 2-2 double-overtime draw Sunday afternoon at Sports Backers Stadium.
- With a tie, the Rams' unbeaten streak remains intact as VCU is 6-0-2 since Sept. 8, including a 2-0-1 mark in Atlantic 10 play.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- VCU took advantage of an early opportunity just over three minutes into the match when junior Alex Gogolin scored her third goal of the season off a corner kick. Senior Taryn Cressy lifted a cross into the left side of the box, where Gogolin fired through a line of La Salle defenders to the far post for a 1-0 lead.
- Senior Jessie Krasko tried to extend the Rams' lead in the 20th minute when she broke free down the right sideline and fired a shot to the far post but La Salle goalkeeper Jessica Wiggons made a diving stop.
- Senior Courtney Conrad's offering in the 28th minute drilled the near post before sophomore Kailyn Slade fired back the rebound to extend the Rams' lead to 2-0.
- La Salle had a look less than a minute later when Courtney Niemiec launched a shot off a free kick but VCU goalkeeper Emma Kruse returned the favor with a diving snag at the left post.
- Kruse made another diving stop on a 22-yard blast from Maryam Huseini in the 42nd minute to preserve the Rams' two-goal cushion at intermission.
- The Woodbridge, Va. native collected her fifth save of the match early in the second half on another offering by Niemiec.
- La Salle cut its deficit in half in the 57th minute when Kelsey Haycook headed in a Kari Nickels cross from the right side to the near post.
- Five minutes later, Haycook scored the equalizer on another cross from Nickels, tapping the ball over Kruse in the center of the net.
- Conrad tried to win it for the Rams late in regulation when she fired a shot from the left side of the box but Wiggons posted her third save of the match to force overtime.
- Following a free kick on the right wing in the 91st minute, Huseini sent a ball into the middle of the box where Renee Washington tried to settle and shoot but Gogolin slid and knocked the ball out of bounds and away from the goal line at the near post.
- Conrad's volley from the top of the box in the 97th minute was blocked by a La Salle defender. The Explorers then tallied four shots in the second overtime but couldn't connect.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- La Salle held an 18-10 advantage in shots, including an 8-5 edge in shots on goal.
- Slade scored for the second time in her last three outings.
- Conrad, who fired three shots against the Explorers, dished out her team-leading fifth assist of the season, while Cressy recorded her second of the year.
- Kruse collected six saves in net for the Rams.
"Obviously the first half was a bit stronger than the second. La Salle is a good side and they're going to put out a good effort. For our kids to stay resilient in the second half and not give up anymore, and battled to a 2-2 tie against a very good La Salle team, we're proud of the effort.
"With two wins and a tie [to start A-10 play], we're in good position. It's just early so we've got to take care of business throughout the next few weeks."
-Head Coach Lindsey Vanderspiegel
WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU begins a three-match road trip on Oct. 18 at Duquesne. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. The Rams then travel to St. Bonaventure on Oct. 20 and George Washington on Oct. 27.