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Photos and Game Summary: Penalty Kicks Push the Rams to the Semi-Finals

A nail-biter at Sports Backers on Saturday. It took a last-minute penalty, two periods of extra-time, and then a penalty shootout for the Rams to advance to the semi-finals.

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It Came Down to Penalty Kicks








Official VCU Game Summary

Final Score: VCU: 2, George Mason: 2 (VCU advances 4-3 on penalty kicks)
Location: Richmond, Va. (Sports Backers Stadium)
Records: VCU: 7-7-3 (6-1-1, A-10), George Mason: 4-12-2 (3-5-0, A-10)

THE SHORT STORY 

VCU advances to the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament Semifinal round after defeating George Mason in a penalty kick shootout Saturday night at Sports Backers Stadium.  

QUICK FACTS

  • George Mason got on the board first with a goal in the 17th minute.
  • The Patriots scored again in the 33rd minute to take a 2-0 lead.
  • Freshman Celio Pompeu (Sao Paulo, Brazil) cut the Patriots’ lead in half in the 68th minute with his first goal of the season.
  • VCU equalized at the death as senior Ryo Shimazaki (Kawasaki, Japan) converted a penalty kick with just 25 seconds left in the match.
  • Two overtime periods were not enough to decide the match, so the squads went to a penalty kick shootout.
  • VCU advanced after winning the penalty shootout, 4-3.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Patriots took a 1-0 lead, scoring against the run of play as they took advantage of one of their first truly threatening possessions of the match. George Mason took a shot from the right side of the box that was saved by Sequeira, but a streaking runner was there to punch the rebound in.
  • Sophomore Fiorre Mane (Dakar, Senegal) fired VCU’s first shot of the night near the penalty box, but it sailed above the cross bar.
  • One of the Rams’ best looks of the first half came in the 28th minute. After senior Fortia Munts (Barcelona, Spain) won a corner, he served in a beautiful ball. Junior Biska Biyombo (Lumbumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo) got a head on it, but the shot clanged off the cross bar.
  • George Mason increased its lead 2-0 in the 33rd minute after slotting the ball inside the near post after a cross in from the right side.
  • VCU earned a pair of free kicks in dangerous spots in the last few minutes of the first frame. Munts stood over both and put each on frame, but the George Mason keeper was up to the task to keep the Rams off the board.
  • The Rams came out of the halftime break hot, firing a couple of early shots to test the Patriots’ defense.
  • In the 52nd minute, Pompeu put another shot on target for VCU, but his attempt fell into the arms of the George Mason keeper.
  • Another good look came for VCU in the 63rd minute as junior Oquin Robinson (Bull Bay, Jamaica) fired a rocket that forced an impressive diving save by the Patriots’ keeper.
  • The Rams cut the George Mason lead in half in the 68th minute. After VCU earned a free kick just outside the 18-yard box, Pompeu stood over the kick and bent a ball into the upper right corner of the net to cut the lead 2-1.
  • Munts had a good look at an equalizer in the 83rd minute with a shot from the top of the box that forced yet another leaping save by the Patriots’ keeper.
  • George Mason was whistled for a foul in the 84th minute, giving VCU another free kick just outside the Box. Pompeu stood over it yet again, but his shot sailed just high this time.
  • VCU equalized, 2-2, with just 25 seconds on the clock. The Rams were awarded a penalty after a foul in the box and Shimazaki calmly converted the penalty to send the game into overtime.
  • Neither team was able to find a winner in either overtime period and the game would head to a penalty kick shootout.
  • VCU advanced to the Atlantic 10 semifinal round, 4-3, on penalty kicks. Sequeira made one save and George Mason sent its fourth kick high. Senior Jared Valdes (Dunn Loring, Va.) buried the winning penalty.

WHAT’S NEXT

VCU will head to the campus of Fordham University for the A-10 semifinals. The Rams will face the winner of No. 3 Dayton and No. 6 La Salle that will be played Sunday, Nov. 10.

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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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Kickers

Kickers Preparations for Season in Full Swing

Two months until the start of a new USL League 1 season. We have a brief look at where the Kickers stand, pictures from this past weekend’s open tryouts, and news of match that can’t be missed.

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The first kickoff of the 2020 season for our Richmond Kickers is March 28th. (Full season schedule here.) As expected after the third season of missing the playoff changes have been fast and furious. The most obvious change took place right at the end of the season when it was announced that David Bulow wouldn’t be at the helm for 2020.

In November the team announced Darren Sawatzky as their new Sporting Director and Head Coach. Darren’s background is fairly typical for a coach, moving from a player into coaching and youth development. Most recently Sawatzky was coaching USL League One side FC Tucson, which is the affiliate of USL Championship side Phoenix Rising FC. Prior to joining Tucson, Sawatzky made a name for himself in the coaching ranks within the Seattle Sounders FC system and led the Seattle Sounders U-23 USL League Two squad along with directing the Development Academy. His playing career included stints with four MLS teams.

Due to League 1 being towards the bottom of the American soccer pyramid the offseason will often be one of significant roster change. Players will look to either move on up and play at a higher level or hang up the cleats. The Kickers are no exception.

The most recent and arguably the most exciting signing is Argentinian forward Emiliano Terzaghi. Emiliano previously played for San Martin De Burzaco in Argentina. Before joining San Martin, he has played a majority of his career with Club Atlético Banfield in the Argentine ‎Primera División, including scoring the game-tying goal against Boca Juniors in the final minute of the match.

The team roster currently:

Goalkeepers (2): Akira Fitzgerald, Lee Johnston
Defenders (7): Wahab Ackwei, Ian Antley, Devante Dubose, Ivan Magalhães, Conor Shanosky, Scott Thomsen, Kyle Venter
Midfielders (10): Amass Amankona, Greg Boehme, Jonathan Bolanos, Matt Bolduc, Gianluca Cuomo, David Diosa, Victor Falck, Ryley Kraft, Mutaya Mwape, Luke Pavone
Forwards (3): Stanley Alves, Charles Boateng, Emiliano Terzaghi

Those familiar with the Kickers will recognize a good number of returning players with the most dramatic turnover in the Forwards with only Charle Boateng returning.

The most recent signing Jonathan Bolanos follows an early trend with the Kickers of picking up young hungry players straight out of college. Other players members of the youth brigade include Victor Falck and Stanley Alves. The join the other young gun Ryley Kraft who was signed mid-season last year.

That doesn’t mean all the new signings are wet behind the ears. Far from it, there have been plenty of seasoned pros ready to sign on the dotted line. – Lee Johnston, Gianluca Cuomo, Ian Antley, Kyle Venter, David Diosa, and Devante Dubose.

The roster now sits at 22 signed players. USL League 1 allows for up to 30 players. It isn’t expected for the Kickers to reach that maximum. At most expect to see another 2-3 players signed between now and the start of the season.

Pre-season matches are expected to be announced later this week. There is however one match that is already much discussed among the Red Army (the Kickers’ supporter group) faithful. The Third Annual Red Army vs Front Office game will be taking place after an inter-squad scrimmage on March 14th. For those coming wanting to watch the Red Army destroy the front office, there is a 5 dollar suggested donation. All proceeds go to RVAccess and the Red Army will be hosting a raffle with a lineup of impressive items up for grabs.

This past weekend the Kickers hosted their second round of Open Tryouts. A chance for players that might have flown under the radar to get another chance to impress.

Below are our pictures from this weekend.

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Photos and Game Summary: UR Can’t Hold Back Dayton Charge in Second Half

The Spiders’ need to dust themselves off quickly as the next game is against local rival VCU.

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University of Richmond (15-5,5-2 Atlantic 10): 79
Dayton (18-2,7-0 Atlantic 10): 87

Box Score

Official Game Summary

Junior guard Jacob Gilyard (Kansas City, Mo.) scored a game-high 29 points but the Richmond Spiders were unable to keep pace with the #7 Dayton Flyers, falling 87-79 at the Robins Center Saturday evening in front of a sold-out crowd.

“I’m really proud of our effort,” said coach Chris Mooney. “We were going to have to make certain things go not quite perfectly but really well tonight and they didn’t but we still competed and scratched and clawed.”

The Flyers relied on National Player-of-the-Year candidate Obi Toppin, who finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds, and Jalen Crutcher, who scored 24 points and added seven assists.

Richmond (15-5, 5-2 in the Atlantic 10) was led by a season-high 29 points from Gilyard while Nick Sherod (Richmond, Va.) added 21 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Gilyard connected on 8-of-15 from the field and hit 5-of-8 from three-point land. Sherod added 4-of-7 from long range Saturday and scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half.

Dayton started strong, hitting its first three three-pointers and edging out to an early 11-2 lead. The Spiders clawed back as junior forward Nathan Cayo (Montreal, Quebec) scored four-straight in the paint to pull within one at 18-17.

Minutes later, the sold-out crowd — the first at the Robins Center this season — exploded when Gilyard hit consecutive three-pointers to give the Spiders a 28-24 lead with 6:57 left in the first half.

But Dayton responded with a 16-2 run to retake control before sophomore guard Jake Wojcik (San Jose, Calif.) closed out the half with a jumper that fell in at the buzzer to trim the deficit to 40-32.

The Spiders struck first in the second half as Gilyard found junior forward Grant Golden (Winchester, Va.) for a layup to make it a six-point game. Dayton again answered, running off 12 straight points to take a 52-34 lead with 14 minutes to play.

Sherod tried to bring the Spiders back, scoring 12 of Richmond’s next 18 points. Richmond was finally able to close the gap to single digits with a 9-0 sprint in less than a minute that made the score 71-63 with 3:48 to play. But Crutcher answerd the Spiders spurt with a three-pointer to extend the lead back to double digits and the Flyers were able to hang on for the 87-79 win.

Despite the loss, Richmond’s 15-5 record is its best through 20 games since the 2010-11 season, when the Spiders advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 and won a school-record 29 games.

The Spiders have a quick turnaround and will play Tuesday night against crosstown rival VCU in the Lumber Liquidators Capital City Classic. Game time at the Siegel Center is set for 7 p.m. and will be broadcast nationally on the CBS Sports Network.

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Northside

Former Braves star Andruw Jones coming to Richmond for Flying Squirrels’ opening night

The five-time NL All-Star and former Richmond Braves outfielder will help ring in 2020 season at The Diamond.

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Former MLB standout Andruw Jones will be the special guest for Opening Night as the Richmond Flying Squirrels begin their home schedule at The Diamond on April 16, the team announced on Wednesday. The five-time National League All-Star will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and sign autographs for fans.

Opening Night with the Flying Squirrels, presented by Virginia Birth Father Registry and Chick-fil-A, will include dueling fireworks to ring in the new season. The first pitch between the Flying Squirrels and Bowie Baysox is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. and the ballpark gates open at 5 p.m.

“Opening Night in Richmond at The Diamond is a very special thing with 10 straight sellouts and a long list of popular ceremonial first pitch participants, some with ties to the Braves’ history here in Richmond,” Flying Squirrels VP & COO Todd “Parney” Parnell said. “Andruw Jones is certainly one of them. Many remember him for his hitting prowess, but his 10 Gold Gloves in the outfield is a high standard. We look forward to welcoming him to Richmond as we pursue our 11thconsecutive Opening Night sellout at The Diamond on April 16.”

Jones played 17 seasons in the majors with the Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, Chicago White Sox and New York Yankees. A star in Atlanta for 12 seasons, Jones earned 10 consecutive Gold Glove Awards from 1998-2007 and was later selected to the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame. In 2005, Jones won the Silver Slugger Award and the Hank Aaron Award while leading the majors with 51 homers and pacing the National League with 128 RBIs.

Prior to his major league stardom, Jones suited up for the Richmond Braves in 1996. His stop in Richmond lasted 12 games, during which he hit .378 with five homers and 12 RBIs before earning a call to the majors in mid-August at just 19 years old.

The Willemstad, Curacao native hit .254 in his 2,196 career MLB games, adding 434 home runs over 17 years from 1996-2012.

The Flying Squirrels’ first 10 home openers have all sold out, including franchise-record crowds of 9,845 fans in each of the last two years. Since the franchise’s first season in 2010, the Flying Squirrels have welcomed a special guest to help open the home schedule at The Diamond. Jones joins the list of sports stars and dignitaries to celebrate the start of the new baseball season in Richmond.

Previous guests include:

  • 2019 – Ryan Klesko
  • 2018 – Fred McGriff & Gov. Ralph Northam (caught by Mayor Levar Stoney)
  • 2017 – David Justice (caught by Mayor Levar Stoney)
  • 2016 – Jerome Bettis
  • 2015 – Will Wade (caught by Gov. Terry McAuliffe)
  • 2014 – Michael Robinson
  • 2013 – Javy Lopez & Ryan Kerrigan
  • 2012 – Dale Murphy
  • 2011 – James Farrior, Brandon Rozzell & Chris Mooney
  • 2010 – Gov. Bob McDonnell

Information on group packages for the Flying Squirrels’ home opener on April 16 are available here or by contacting the front office at 804-359-FUNN (3866).

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