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Photos & Game Summary: Rams Close Season with a Win

The season didn’t go quite as planned for the women’s team but the finished on a high note on Sunday.

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Official VCU Summary

Final Score: VCU: 2, UMass: 1
Location: Richmond, Va. (Sports Backers Stadium)
Records: VCU: 9-6-3 (4-5-2), UMass: 9-5-3 (6-3-1)

THE SHORT STORY 

VCU rounded out its season with strong senior performances and two second-half goals that lifted the Rams to a 2-1 victory on Senior Day at Sports Backers Stadium.

QUICK FACTS

  • VCU took a 1-0 lead in the 47th minute when senior Alyssa Tallent (Woodbridge, Va.) found the back of the net.
  • Junior Emma Kershner (Centreville, Va.) added to the VCU goal total when she banged in a free kick to give the Rams a 2-0 lead in the 54th minute.
  • UMass cut the lead in half 2-1 with a goal in the 90th minute.
  • The Rams outshot UMass 17-14 and landed seven shots on frame.
  • Junior Paige Franks (Richmond, Va.) led the way with four shots on the afternoon.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • VCU came out of the gate hot. Senior Amanda Tredway (Downingtown, Pa.) put VCU’s first shot on frame in the fifth minute to force a save.
  • The Rams had a good look in the 24th minute when Tallent played in a great ball from the left side to a waiting Franks, but the shot was just high.
  • Senior Susanna Friedrichs (Midlothian, Va.) tested the Minutewomen’s keeper yet again in the 26thminute with another shot on frame and the save was made.
  • The Rams continued to pepper the UMass goal with shots. Junior CiCi Fox (Fredricksburg, Va.) put yet another on frame in the 40th minute.
  • VCU had outshot UMass 10-4 at the half and limited the Minutewomen to just one shot on frame that was easily handled by sophomore Brecht Haakma (Amsterdam, Netherlands).
  • VCU opened the game’s scoring in the 47th minute. Junior Lyndsey Gutzmer (Henrico Va.) played a wide ball to Friedrichs who one-touched a cross into the box. Tallent was there to head the ball home for a 1-0 lead.
  • The Rams wasted little time getting back on the board. After VCU earned a free kick just outside the 18, Kershner banged a free kick off the left post into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead.
  • In the 70th minute, Haakma came off her line and stopped a streaking UMass runner to keep the Minutewomen off the board.
  • UMass continued to push and got on the board in the 90th minute with a breakaway goal, but it was too little too late for the Minutewomen.

HEAD COACH LINDSEY MARTIN

“I think we showed today that we are a great team and we were just inconsistent this year with our performances and we let it get away from us. It was a great performance today and I’m really proud of how we came together after a lot of adversity and got the win today. I certainly wish our seniors well as they move on to future endevors. They have been awesome for us.”

WHAT’S NEXT

VCU’s fall season comes to a close with a 9-6-3 record while going 4-5-2 in Atlantic 10 play.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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College Greek life priorities change in the face of COVID-19 

Virginia-based student sororities and fraternities are using Zoom to recruit new members. Some of these organizations believe the challenge of social distancing has strengthened bonds amongst each other as well as their philanthropy efforts.

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By Megan Lee

There are no dodgeball games, cookouts or other rushing events at Virginia Commonwealth University’s campus in Richmond, but fraternities and sororities are still recruiting new brothers and sisters.

The Greek chapters at VCU, and many other Virginia schools, are using Zoom to recruit new members. Some fraternities and sororities believe the challenge of social distancing has strengthened bonds amongst each other as well as their philanthropy efforts.

“Not being able to meet in-person this semester as a whole chapter has been hard, but it has given us more time to focus on our priorities,” said John Rudolph, VCU Pi Kappa Alpha recruitment chair. “Those being our grades, community service and philanthropy.”

VCU’s fraternities and sororities have given around 8,400 hours of time to charities in the last academic year, said LaDarius Thompson, associate director of Civic Engagement and Fraternity and Sorority Life at VCU.

VCU Pi Kappa Alpha is finding alternative methods for their usual events like Bowling Buddy, community clean-ups and food drives, according to Rudolph. Rudolph said the organization is preparing virtual fundraisers using Instagram and Venmo for its annual Fireman’s Challenge, benefitting the Evans-Haynes Burn Center in Richmond.

Bingo donation boards, orders of Campus Cookies, and raffles are just a few of the virtual fundraising challenges Virginia Tech Kappa Alpha sorority are circulating through Instagram and Snapchat stories.

Mojdeh Nourbakhsh, Panhellenic director of risk at Virginia Tech, said that most of its fraternity and sorority causes “are in greater need now more than ever” due to the pandemic.

Kappa Alpha and Kappa Delta at Virginia Tech are raffling Airpods and a TV on social media to fundraise for NRV CARES, a nonprofit advocating for children involved in Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court proceedings.

William & Mary Kappa Sigma President Danny Driscoll said the chapter has raised $600 worth of food this semester for the Williamsburg House of Mercy, a local homeless shelter, and plans to raise another $10,000 over this academic year for philanthropy while following COVID-19 guidelines.

These philanthropy efforts are sometimes overshadowed by the notorious social life fraternities and sororities can bring to college campuses. But these social and recruiting events play a large role in establishing the sense of brotherhood and sisterhood that is an integral part of the organizations, Driscoll said.

Nourbakhsh said that when recruiting in person, “you get a better feel of their energy and how they would benefit your chapter best.”

Since most of these in-person events cannot happen, many Greek leadership boards decided to decrease semester fees.

“I think it’s so wrong to charge someone $300 when what are they really getting besides to say, ‘I’m in Kappa Sigma?’” Driscoll said.

 Although rectangles of faces on a Zoom call have replaced real life meetings, there is no substitute for the brothers and sisters that live together — a common standard for many fraternities and sororities.

Students have tested positive in Virginia Tech’s Kappa Delta house, said Claudia Wrenn, the sorority’s vice president of membership.

Wrenn said that the organization’s positive students were quarantined off campus until they were well. She said that resident assistants conduct walk-throughs of all on-campus Greek housing, ensuring that masks are worn at all times in common areas and social distancing measures are in place.

Potential issues arise in off-campus housing, where universities do not have much control.

Thompson said that VCU, the Interfraternity Council and VCU Police have met with sororities and fraternities to reiterate state orders and find ways to prevent COVID-19 within Greek-populated houses.

Some of the Greek chapters that ignored college COVID-19 guidelines have suffered the consequences. Radford University suspended the Iota Zeta chapter of its Theta Chi fraternity for not following health measures during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to The Roanoke Times.

James Madison University also brought Harrisonburg to the top of a USA Today list of college towns with the worst U.S. COVID-19 outbreaks. Twenty percent of JMU students participate in Greek organizations, according to the university’s Fraternity and Sorority Life page.

There are no confirmed links between JMU Greek life and the school’s COVID-19 cases, but Driscoll said that people are connecting the two.

“We don’t want to be the scapegoats that they’re making Greek life into at JMU right now,” Driscoll said.

About 800,000 undergraduate students participated in Greek life across the country in 2018, but VCU Pi Kappa Alpha and William & Mary Kappa Sigma have seen lower recruitment numbers than usual with this year’s freshman class. Virginia Tech Kappa Delta is anticipating even lower numbers for spring recruitment.

Driscoll said Kappa Sigma has not reached half of the number of potential new members he would typically like to have at this point in the semester.

However, he said the unique challenges of this year have created a space for a different bond amongst the incoming class as they “navigate the pandemic together.” Driscoll decided to have a “year-long pledge class” for the 2020-2021 school year to create a longer acclimation period for potential recruits and a greater reach to interested students.

As fraternities and sororities reevaluate chapter goals, they also have time to reflect on Greek life’s impact beyond the college campus, Nourbakhsh said.

Nourbakhsh serves on a national committee created by the National Panhellenic Conference to address underlying racism and noninclusive policies within Greek life.

“There is so much work to be done in our country and starting off with organizations like Greek life and fixing systemic issues is a great start to changing the nation’s perceptions and culture,” Nourbakhsh said.

Students said they are eager to return to regular life.

“Coming from a pandemic and going back to normalcy, whatever normalcy will be, is going to benefit participation, loyalty, interest in these fraternities and sororities because people miss it,” Driscoll said.

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Richmond BizSense Reporting Takeout Tacos Taking Over Naked Onion Spot

Good news for lovers of the taco. If you don’t love the taco, I don’t know if we can be friends.

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In these uncertain dining times, it’s good news to see a new take-out option opening up.

From Richmond BizSense.com

TBT El Gallo, an upstart Mexican takeout concept, plans to take over the space in October.

TBT refers to the restaurant’s mainstay menu items: tacos, burritos and tortas. El Gallo, which means the rooster in Spanish, is the family nickname of owner Carlos Ordaz-Nunez. He picked it up thanks to a particularly bad childhood haircut.

“Richmond still needs a (a place for) very traditional Mexican-inspired tacos,” he said.

If you can’t wait to try the menu follow TBT El Gallo on Facebook. They are often hosting pop-ups around town and Facebook will keep in you the know.

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MoJo’s is a No Go Come October

The VCU mainstay is closing its doors in October. Grab your wings and cheesesteaks while you can.

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MoJo’s announced that they’ll be closing on October 11th.

Big announcement time (prepare your tears): after October 11th 2020 we will be no-Mo’-jo’s. Aka: we’re closing on October 11th (that will be the last day we will have service) for an undetermined amount of time. It’s been a wild ride these last twenty (or so?) years, but it’s time to say our goodbyes to 733 west cary street. Come in and see us for the next few weeks that we’ll be open (and seriously, you’re going to be saying goodbye to these cheesesteaks and wings so it’s now or never!) We’ll miss and love you all forever!!

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