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.
- 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.”
The Rams play their first road match of the season at UNCW on Sunday, Aug. 22 at 1 p.m. in Wilmington, N.C.
Photos and Game Summary: VCU Goes Down a Goal Comes Back with a Vengeance
Despite giving up an early goal the Rams dominated play and ended up winning 4-1 over ETSU.
The short story: Two goals apiece from sophomore winger Celio Pompeu and senior midfielder Oquin Robinson led the Rams to a dominant win, the 100th of head coach Dave Giffard‘s career, in the fall 2021 home opener.
- Giffard notched his 100th career win in his 12th season at the helm of the Rams.
- Pompeu’s brace gave the Brazilian a team-high three goals and seven points on the season.
- Robinson’s brace were his first two goals of the year after picking up an assist last time out at RV/#24 Charlotte.
- ETSU played with ten men for the final 32 minutes of the match after goalkeeper Cole Hunter received his second yellow card.
- In a physical match, the Bucs received eight total yellow cards.
- VCU out-shot ETSU by a 19-7 margin, and held a 5-0 advantage in corner kicks.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Rams were dangerous right out of the gate, with Pompeu pinging a ball to redshirt freshman Ethan Manheim who turned and fired a shot from 20 yards just wide of the right post in the first minute.
- ETSU’s Hunter picked up his first yellow card in the 14th minute when he strayed outside of the box to pick up a ball. Robinson took the ensuing free kick, curling a shot over the wall and forcing a diving save.
- Moments later, the Bucs struck first on the counter. Gabriel Ramos played a long ball from midfield to Tarik Pannholzer, who cut in on his right foot and curled a shot to the lower right corner to put ETSU in front 1-0.
- In the 34th minute, Pompeu drew a foul in the box that resulted in a yellow card for ETSU’s Dominic Foster and a VCU penalty kick. Robinson stepped up to the spot and slotted home his first goal of the season to tie the match at 1-1.
- VCU’s fluid play continued into a dominant second half, with a quality chance coming in the 50th minute. Robinson threaded a perfectly-weighted ball to freshman midfielder Damian Gallegos on the right wing, where he played a dangerous cross that senior forward Biska Biyombo nearly redirected into the goal as he slid through the six-yard box.
- In the 57th minute, Pompeu skillfully created space for himself in the box, and fired a shot just over the bar.
- Biyombo was in on goal in the 59th minute, and Hunter came off his line and fouled him with a sliding challenge, collecting his second yellow and forcing the Bucs to bring on Josh Perryman as a replacement goalkeeper. Pompeu took the ensuing free kick from 24 yards out, beautifully curling it into the top right corner to put the Rams in front 2-1.
- Robinson doubled his tally in the 67th minute, collecting a rebound from Manheim’s header off a corner kick and heading it into the back of the net form close range to push the lead to 3-1.
- Pompeu put a bow on the Rams’ scoring in the 74th minute, collecting a ball from redshirt junior midfielder Pierre Fiorre Mane, taking a deft touch around a defender, and slotting home a finish with his right foot.
QUOTING HEAD COACH DAVE GIFFARD
“Tonight was an interesting game. We started brightly but had more control than we have the first few games, and I think that lulled us into a false sense of security at 0-0. We knew coming in that ETSU was excellent in transition, and that the number nine was absolutely quality. We didn’t deal with it very well, and sure enough, he scored a very good goal. We kept playing through and got it back and then in the second half our quality shone through over time.”
The Rams open the Atlantic 10 slate with a road match at Rhode Island on Saturday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. from Kingston, R.I. Every A-10 match is broadcast on ESPN+.
Photos and Game Summary: VUU Fall in Home Opener
Turnovers didn’t help an offense that failed to hit its stride and a defense that had no answers as VUU lose 51 – 17
Virginia Union University’s Jada Byers, a true freshman from Hamminton, N.J., and majoring in Social Work, rushed for 107 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries against #5 Valdosta State University on Saturday, September 11, at Willie Lanier Field at Hovey Stadium in Richmond, Va.
Unfortunately, Valdosta State won the game 51-7 against the Panthers.
Byer’s touchdown came at the 11:58 mark in the fourth quarter and spoiled Valdosta State’s bid for a shutout.
VUU’s Jarrett Sumiel had five solo tackles and assisted on four more.
The loss dropped VUU to 0-2 on the season while Valdosta State is now 2-0.
Virginia Union now faces Virginia University at Lynchburg in the Willard Bailey Classic at 6:00 p.m. at Willie Lanier Field at Hovey Stadium on Saturday, September 18.
Flying Squirrels with Rain Vouchers can get Tickets for Next Tuesday’s Game
The Flying Squirrels season is coming to a close and rain dampened a few games.
Fans holding any unused 2021 vouchers or rain-out tickets have the opportunity to exchange them for 2 GA tickets for Tuesday, September 7th. Tickets may be exchanged in advance or in person at the ticket booth on game day!