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VCU edges Richmond in overtime in A10 Tourney Saturday

A well-rounded stat sheet, a dominant 14-6 overtime period and some timely senior leadership propelled VCU to its fifth consecutive Atlantic 10 championship after a heart-stopping 87-77 win over the University of Richmond.

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By Zach Joachim and Sophia Belletti – Capital News Service

A well-rounded stat sheet, a dominant 14-6 overtime period and some timely senior leadership propelled VCU to its fifth consecutive Atlantic 10 championship finals after a heart-stopping 87-77 win over the University of Richmond.

VCU’s scoring depth lead the Black and Gold to victory – the Rams posted 35 bench points, compared to Richmond’s meager two. All five UR starters finished in double figures, while three of VCU’s starters reached the mark.

Senior guard JeQuan Lewis led the Rams in scoring with 18, followed closely by redshirt-freshman guard Samir Doughty (17), redshirt-senior forward Mo Alie-Cox (15) and junior forward Justin Tillman (11). Nine VCU players scored in the contest.

“We outrebounded them and scored 56 points in the paint,” said VCU coach Will Wade. “That’s our formula. We made some plays when we needed to.”

Richmond freshman guard De’Monte Buckingham was nothing short of sensational – he led all scorers with 26 and went 9-14 from the field.

The Rams found themselves in dire straits at the end of regulation. Richmond’s freshman guard Nick Sherod hit a corner-three with 25 seconds left to give the Spiders a 3-point lead.

When all seemed lost, Wade and the Rams looked to their senior leader and asked the world of him – and Lewis delivered.

The first-team all-conference guard rose up from the wing and tied the game after running a curl off a screen in the post. Junior guard Jonathan Williams fed him right in the shooting pocket on a play Wade said the Rams run frequently.

“I had shooting in my mind before the play even started,” Lewis said. “We practice that play a lot.”

On the final possession of regulation, Richmond senior guard ShawnDre’ Jones had a chance to give his Spiders the win. UR got the switch it wanted, with Alie-Cox matched up against Jones on the perimeter. The VCU senior forward showed off his versatility by forcing a fade-away, contested jump shot that went begging.

“A team that forces overtime wins 72 percent of the time,” Wade said. “They were going to have hit a crazy shot in regulation to beat us – and they didn’t.”

“Mo helps us so much defensively. How many other fives can switch off defensively onto a guard and just bottle him up and make him shoot an 18 foot, contested fade-away jump shot? He’s a freak of nature – that’s why he’s going to be playing in the NFL, or whatever he’s going to do.”

Freshman guard Samir Doughty, who was recently relegated to a six-man role after starting for much of the season, was a catalyst for the Black and Gold. Doughty’s ability to get to the rim was key for a VCU team that – according to Wade – settled for too many jump shots in the second half.

“We took so many pull-up jumpers in the second half, I was so mad,” Wade said. “Samir’s instinct is to put his head down and drive the ball. We needed that mentality today.”

Lewis agreed. “Samir is a great player and scorer. We need that from him. He’s scrappy.”

The VCU Rams will face the University of Rhode Island Rams on Sunday in the Atlantic 10 tournament championship. Tip-off is scheduled for 12:30 on CBS. The last time the Rams played each other, Rhode Island out muscled VCU and won by a final of 69-59 up north. RI did not visit the Siegel Center this year.

“It’s going to be up and down. It’s going to be physical,” Lewis said. “We have good guards; they have good guards. We have good post players; they have good post players.”

“They obliterated us on the glass,” Wade said. “We weren’t strong in the paint. They’re the one team in the league that’s as physical as we are.”

One thing is for certain: By Sunday afternoon, a team named the Rams will be the 2017 Atlantic 10 tournament champions.

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The Capital News Service is a flagship program of VCU’s Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture. In the program, journalism students cover news in Richmond and across Virginia and distribute their stories, photos, and other content to more than 100 newspapers, television and radio stations, and news websites.

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Kickers

Photos and Game Summary: Kickers Manage a Draw at Home

The league leaders were in town and the Kickers fought them to a draw.

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Official Game Summary

The Richmond Kickers (3-3-3) earned a hard-fought point against league-leading Union Omaha (5-1-3) at City Stadium, Saturday night to keep its unbeaten streak for the month of June intact.

With the game underway, the first several minutes of the first half saw both teams holding their shape and Richmond maintaining more of the possession. Eight minutes into the match Union Omaha sent in a cross from the wing that was headed at goal, but Akira Fitzgerald made an acrobatic save to deflect the ball towards the touchline and allow the defense to clear it out of the danger area.

Around the 15-minute-mark, the game opened up more and both sides began passing the ball around with more fluidity. Esteban Calvo made a last-ditch sliding tackle to block an attempted cross from Ethan Vanacore-Decker, then, in the 21st minute, Greg Hurst found space at the top of the Richmond box. Hurst managed to squeeze a shot out, but Fitzgerald handled it with ease.

With seven minutes left in the first half, Richmond was awarded a free-kick just outside of the Omaha box. Ivan Magalhães stepped up to take the kick and tried to place it just underneath the wall to beat the keeper, but it took a deflection and rolled into Rashid Nuhu’s gloves.

Union Omaha broke the stalemate in the 30th minute after Sousa played a cross into a dangerous area. The attacking run of an Omaha player towards the near post froze Fitzgerald on his line, and the ball managed to curl around into the backside of the net.

As the first half was winding down, Richmond sought an equalizer to close out the half holding more of the possession just outside of Omaha’s box. Jonathan Bolanos, Emiliano Terzaghi, and Matt Bolduc all created several opportunities to cut through their defense, but the first half would come to a close 0-1.

At the 56th minute, Luke Pavone sent in a cross from the wing aimed at Terzaghi who dove for the ball as it came across the goal but didn’t get enough distance to connect for a shot. For the remaining 30 minutes of the game, Richmond pushed towards the Union Omaha goal in search of the equalizer.

In the 74th minute, Bolanos was free on the left-wing and turned Sousa around, only to get fouled by Sousa and earn a free-kick to the left of the box. Zaca Moran stepped over the ball, placed it towards the far post, and Jalen Crisler leaped head and shoulders above the Union Omaha defense to send a header at the goal which took a deflection and rolled into the goal netting to tie the match.

Omaha would make a late surge, and in the 88th minute, Akira Fitzgerald made a flying save to keep the scoreline at 1-1 and help see the Kickers earn the point at home.

The Kickers hit the road again to face regional rivals North Carolina FC on June 25. The Reds will look to earn their first points at NCFC since the 2018 season when the two sides faced off in USL Championship. Kickoff for the match is set for 7:00 p.m. ET.

Stay up to date with the latest news from the Kickers at RichmondKickers.com and on the official team app.

BOX SCORE
Team First Half Second Half Final
Richmond Kickers 0 1 1
Union Omaha 1 0 1

LINEUPS

Richmond: Akira Fitzgerald, Juan Pablo Monticelli, Ivan Magalhães, Jalen Crisler, Esteban Calvo, Zaca Moran, Victor Falck, Nil Vinyals (67’ – Oalex Anderson), Matt Bolduc (45’ – Luke Pavone), Emiliano Terzaghi, Jonathan Bolanos (86’ – Hernan Gonzalez)

Unused Substitutes:
Austin Causey
Nathan Aune
Cam Vickers
Chris Cole

Union Omaha: Rashid Nuhu, Damia Viader I Masdeu, Ferrety Sousa, Daltyn Knutson, Jake Crull, Tobias Otieno, Ethan Vanacore-Decker(79’ – N’For), Conor Doyle, John Scearce, Devin Boyce, Greg Hurst (88’ – Alihodzic)

Unused Substitutes:

Austin Panchot
John Murphy
Blake Malone
Christian Molina
Kevin Piedrahita

STATISTICS

Shots

Saves

Fouls

Corners

Richmond

9

8

12

4

Omaha

20

1

16

2

SCORING SUMMARY

31’

OMA

Sousa (Doyle)

74’

RIC

Otieno (OG)

CAUTIONS SUMMARY

57’

64’

RIC

OMA

Terzaghi

Vanacore-Decker

73’

OMA

Otieno

74’

OMA

Sousa

79’

RIC

Anderson

EJECTIONS SUMMARY

None.

MATCH INFORMATION

Referee: John Matto
Asst. Referee: Ben Pilgrim, Jeffrey Skinker
4th Official: Matt Franz
Attendance: 2,009
Weather: Sunny, 90 ºF

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Kickers

Preview: Kickers Face Union Omaha at Home for the First Time

Another frustrating draw, this time on the road. The Kickers still looking for consistency in front of the net.

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Opponent: Union Omaha  (5-1-2)
Date/Time: Saturday, June 19th, 6:30 PM
Last Result: Richmond Kickers 0, Forward Madison 0

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Three Things to Kick About

  1. Underperforming – If the playoffs were to start today the Kickers wouldn’t be in them. The team for reasons that escape my pea brain can’t seem to string together two good games. When they’re firing on all cylinders they’re one of the top teams in the league but that only seems to happen in short bursts and rarely for a whole game and never in back-to-back games.
  2. Defense Dependent – The defense has kept us in every game but the offense isn’t doing their part. A team that has 3 clean sheets in 8 games shouldn’t be sitting in 7th place. There are two teams with worst goal differentials that sit higher than us on the table. Last week the team only managed 7 shots. Roughly one shot every 13 minutes.
  3. Missed Opportunities – I keep going back to the game against NCFC on May 22. It ended in a 0-0 draw. Currently, NCFC has only managed 1 point in its six games and that was against us. If the Kickers continue this trend it will not end well.

Prediction

In order to protect what little self-confidence I have, I haven’t gone back to see how well I’ve done predicting these games. Omaha is on a two-game winning streak and has displaced Greenville from the top of the table. From the highlights I’ve watched their offense looks really good. This is backed up by three of their five wins being by two goals. The Richmond defense will have to have another outstanding game. I don’t have faith in our offense to do their part. It’s going to be another draw for the boys in red.

Kickers 1 – Union Omaha 1

Official Kickers Preview

The Richmond Kickers (3-3-2) return to City Stadium to face the league leaders, Union Omaha (5-1-2), on Saturday, June 19th. Kickoff for this match is set at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Richmond’s previous outing was an intense rivalry match against Forward Madison which saw both sides playing a physical match with neither able to break the deadlock. The match resulted in a scoreless 0-0 but saw the Kickers earn their fourth clean sheet of the season. Emiliano Terzaghi, Jalen Crisler, Ivan Magalhães and Jonathan Bolanos all kept Forward goalkeeper Chris Brady busy with shots on frame.

Crisler had an impressive game against his former club. Partnered with Magalhães, the center-back duo recorded their eighth-straight match paired together and were a major part of Richmond’s impenetrable defense. Crisler had a passing accuracy of 85.4%, made 10 clearances and had one block. Magalhães made five interceptions, made the most successful passes with 44 and had a passing accuracy of 86.3%.

Union Omaha’s last game was against New England Revolution II and resulted in a 4-2 Omaha win. Connor Presley of Revs II started the scoring for the match in the 23rd minute, then, minutes later, Greg Hurst would score the first goal of his 26-minute hat-trick which would help cement Union Omaha’s league standing. Omaha managed 20 shots against New England and had a passing accuracy of 76.1%.

With the draw against Madison, Richmond will look to take points away from Omaha to reposition themselves in the top 6 of the league table. Union Omaha are on a two-win streak right now and Richmond will look to produce another strong defensive outing to slow down the Omaha attack.

Richmond’s next match will be at North Carolina FC, June 25. The last time the two teams lined up, the match resulted in a scoreless 0-0 draw at City Stadium. This time out, Richmond will look to earn their first league win over NCFC since the two sides faced off in the USL Championship in 2018.

Don’t miss a moment of the 2021 season at City Stadium with your Kickers+ subscription. Kickers+ is a brand new subscription service for the 2021 season that provides fans tons of value, flexibility, and sweet perks! Sign up today for only $59.99 – Kickers+ benefits include 50% off tickets to any regular season home match, 15% off merchandise at shop.richmondkickers.com, exclusive digital content, member events, and more! Click here for more info and to join today!

Stay up to date with all of the Kickers news at RichmondKickers.com and on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. Download the Richmond Kickers mobile app for news, contests, and more!

CBS6 Players to Watch

Richmond Kickers

Ivan Magalhães (#4) was a standout performer against Forward Madison. With a passing accuracy of 86.3%, a shot on goal and five interceptions, Magalhães helped secure another Kickers clean sheet. Look for Magalhães to put in a solid shift and neutralize Greg Hurst in the box.
Jonathan Bolanos (#17) started the match against Madison with a bang. With a solo run at the goalkeeper within the first five minutes in the game, Bolanos was able to strike fear into the Madison defense. A threat in front of goal as well as a distributor, Bolanos has racked up both goals and assists to make the Kickers’ attack more potent from the left side.
Jalen Crisler (#15) was crucial in keeping a clean sheet against his former club. Crisler had a passing accuracy of 85.4%, made one block, gained possession four times andmade 10 clearances. Crisler and Magalhães will have to be at the top of their game to give Richmond the foundation they need to battle it out with Union Omaha.

Union Omaha

Greg Hurst (#9) scored a hat-trick in his outing against New England in all of 26 minutes. The lethal attacker had four shots on target, a 78.9% passing accuracy and  made 15 passes into the opposition’s half.
Conor Doyle (#22) had an impressive defensive performance against New England. Making four tackles, four clearances, two interceptions and gaining possession eight times. He was a nuisance in the midfield. He also made 27 passes in the opposition’s half.
Rashid Nuhu (#24) had a great game against New England despite letting two past him in the stick as he recorded four saves on the night. A top 3 goalkeeper in the league, Nuhu presents a good challenge for the Richmond attack.

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Events

Virginia Capital Trail Foundation unveils Capital Trail Summer Challenge

You can conquer the 52-mile Virginia Capital Trail three different ways this summer.

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The Virginia Capital Trail Foundation is encouraging people to get active this summer with the Capital Trail Summer Challenge. From now until September 6th, participants can run, bike, walk, skate, or dance their way along the Virginia Capital Trail, which stretches 51.7 miles from Williamsburg to Richmond.

The Summer Challenge consists of 3 different activity goals. Participants can crush all 51.7 miles of the Capital Trail, conquer 103.4 miles for an out and back, or complete the 310.2-mile Birthday Challenge in honor of the Trail’s 6th birthday. Each distance can be tackled all at once or completed in sections. The Summer Challenge is about conquering all 51.7 miles of the Capital Trail by passing every mile marker between Jamestown and Richmond. The remaining mileage can be logged anywhere, on the Capital Trail or somewhere new.

“We are hoping this event will inspire people to stay active this summer,” shares Cat Anthony, Executive Director of the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation. “We are excited to showcase all the different ways people can have fun out on the Trail. This challenge is unique because people choose their own activity and distance goal. There is something for everyone!”

After completing the challenge, participants will receive an official Summer Challenge t-shirt and sunglasses. Registration is $25 before the price bump on July 21st. There is also a fundraising option. Anyone who raises $100 will receive free registration. Proceeds from the challenge help support the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation.

Participants can submit their results any time before September 8th and are encouraged to share their experience on social media with #CapTrailChallenge. Additional information can be found at runsignup.com/Race/VA/Richmond/VirginiaCapitalTrailSummerChallenge

The Virginia Capital Trail Foundation is a non-profit organization that exists to protect, promote, and enhance the Virginia Capital Trail, and to serve as a resource, community builder, and connector to other trails throughout the Commonwealth.

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