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Photos and Game Summary: Rams Win Home Opener in Final Seconds

JMU was doomed by an Aileen Guthrie goal with only 14 seconds left in the game.

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Official VCU Game Summary

Final Score: VCU 1, James Madison 0
Location: Richmond, Va. (Sports Backers Stadium)
Records: VCU 1-0-0, James Madison 0-1-0

The short story: Senior midfielder Aileen Guthrie scored with 14 seconds left on the clock to lift the Rams over the Dukes in the season opener.

QUICK FACTS

  • VCU was the dominant team for much of the match, outshooting JMU by a 16-7 margin, including an 8-2 advantage in shots on goal.
  • Redshirt senior forward Lyndsey Gutzmer provided the assist on Guthrie’s game-winning goal, the seventh assist of her career.
  • Redshirt senior goalkeeper Grace Young made a pair of crucial saves to notch the seventh shutout of her career.
  • While the Dukes held a nominal advantage in overall possession (51%-49%), VCU spent the majority of its time on the ball inside the attacking third of the field.
  • VCU opened its season with a win for the third straight year.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • VCU dominated the first half, outshooting JMU 8-0 and locking the Dukes in their own half with an effective high press.
  • Redshirt senior Samantha Jerabek had the first quality chance of the match in the sixth minute, collecting a through ball from Gutzmer at the top of the box and firing a shot just over the bar.
  • Redshirt senior midfielder Emma Kershner was the most dangerous player of the first half, registering three shots on goal, including a diving header from an Isidora Gajdobranski cross in the 42nd minute.
  • The Rams continued the attack early in the second half, with freshman forward Kanna Matsuhisa laying off a pass for Anna Bagley, whose point-blank shot was parried away by JMU’s Alexandra Blom.
  • Jerabek forced a save out of Blom after stealing a ball, cutting in on her right and firing a shot to the top left corner in the 57th minute. Six minutes later, Matsuhisa was in on goal after a nutmeg while cutting in from the right, forcing Blom to come off her line and clear the ball away.
  • The Dukes turned up the pressure late in the game, registering all seven of their shots in the second half. Young pushed a free kick off the crossbar in the 77th minute to keep things scoreless.
  • The game-winning goal came in the 90th minute. Gutzmer brought down the ball near midfield and played a pass into Guthrie, who was charging towards goal. Alone with three defenders in front of her, Guthrie chipped a left-footed shot over the keeper from 25 yards out to seal the win for VCU.

QUOTING HEAD COACH LINDSEY MARTIN
“As after most first games of the season, we have a lot to work on moving forward, but I am very proud of our late game heroics. We never stopped working, and Beanie was absolutely clinical with her finish. Great opening night for us.”

UP NEXT
The Rams play their first road match of the season at UNCW on Sunday, Aug. 22 at 1 p.m. in Wilmington, N.C.

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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.