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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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Henrico Schools cancel winter sports in light of rising COVID-19 cases

School officials will consider the possibility of allowing spring sports in February, depending on how the pandemic continues to unfold.

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From the Henrico Citizen:

There will be no school-sponsored winter sports in Henrico County this year, school officials announced Monday.

The decision came in light of rising COVID-19 case incidence locally and tighter state restrictions about indoor events, according to Henrico Schools spokesman Andy Jenks.

Fall sports were delayed until the spring (with a start date of Feb. 4), and Henrico Schools officials will evaluate in January the possibility of allowing those sports to take place, Jenks wrote in a message posted on the school system’s website and sent to families.

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VCU Ram Attendance Capped at 250

VCU Athletics will begin basketball season with a capacity of 250 spectators inside the Stuart C. Siegel Center.

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VCU Athletics issued this statement earlier today.

VCU Athletics will begin basketball season with a capacity of 250 spectators inside the Stuart C. Siegel Center. Tuesday’s capacity adjustment was made in accordance with new COVID-19 safety guidance from the Commonwealth of Virginia, announced last week.

Should the State issue new guidance in the future, VCU Athletics will adjust accordingly.

A limited number of tickets will be made available to VCU students and guests of student-athletes. Approximately 175 seats will be reserved for season ticket holders. VCU Athletics will determine access to season tickets based on giving level and rank within each giving level, consistent with the Seat Equity model. VCU Athletics has created protocols to make unused tickets available to Ram Athletic Fund members on a single-game basis.

Season ticket holders will receive notice by Wednesday, Nov. 18 if they qualify for the new limited capacity model. Ticket holders who do not meet the limited capacity qualifications will have a variety of options, including the ability to transfer their season ticket donation to a Ram Athletic Fund gift for 2021-22 or a refund.

“We regret that we cannot have our usual full capacity to start the men’s basketball season,” McLaughlin said. “Our loyal, dedicated fans make our home games the best environment in college basketball and we will miss everyone who cannot attend in person. We will continue to work with all parties in an effort to maximize capacity beyond the current guidelines as the season progresses.”

VCU Athletics will limit seating to the arena bowl in a socially-distanced manner, with a buffer zone around the court to prevent contact between fans and participants. Courtside seating and the Tommy J. West Club will be closed. Ticket holders in those areas will have the opportunity to sit in the bowl area.

We here at RVAHub are in communication with the Rams and are hoping to have a photographer at the game but that isn’t confirmed yet.

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Photos: Surfing Z Dam

Floodwaters bring out the skilled river riders to take to the waves at Z Dam. These photos were shot Saturday afternoon.

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