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: Ram Fall to Chattanooga
Score: Chattanooga 56, VCU 54
Location: Richmond, Va. (Siegel Center)
Records: VCU 2-2, Chattanooga 4-0
The short story: Chattanooga’s Malachi Smith hit a short jumper with 0.4 seconds remaining to lift the Mocs past VCU in a tough, back-and-forth contest.
- Vince Williams led all scorers with a career-high 21 points and six rebounds. He connected on 7-of-10 attempts, including 4-of-7 from 3-point range
- Freshman guard Jayden Nunn tallied 10 points on 5-of-10 shooting, and added a pair of assists for the Black and Gold
- Senior guard KeShawn Curry contributed nine points in the contest for VCU
- In addition to the game-winning shot, Malachi Smith paced Chattanooga with 20 points and five rebounds
- Chattanooga owned a 30-26 edge on the glass. The Mocs corralled 11 offensive boards, which produced nine second-chance points
- Williams scored seven of VCU’s final 10 points and tied the game twice in the last 65 seconds, once on a pair of free throws with 1:05 remaining (52-52) and again with a lefty floater in the lane with 25 seconds on the clock (54-54)
- VCU trailed by as many as nine points, at 44-35 with 9:22 left, but the Rams embarked on a 9-0 run, capped by a Williams 3-pointer, to tie the game at 44-all
- The game featured 10 ties, including six in the second half, and three lead changes
- VCU shot a season-high .478 (22-of-46) in the game, including .571 (12-of-21) in the second half
VCU travels to Paradise, Bahamas to face Syracuse in the Battle 4 Atlantis at 5 p.m. on Wednesday Nov. 24. The game will air on ESPN2.
Richmond Kickers Terzaghi and Fitzgerald Honored by USL1
Although the Kickers were knocked out of the playoffs in the first round there was still plenty to celebrate.
Reigning 2020 USL League One Most Valuable Player and reigning back-to-back Golden Boot winner Emiliano Terzaghi was named USL League One Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season, the league announced Thursday.
“Ganar este premio tan importante por segunda vez consecutiva significa un gran orgullo para mi de gran importancia porque volver a conseguirlo siempre es más difícil que hacerlo por primera vez.”
“Winning this important award for the second time in a row means a lot to me,” Terzaghi said. “It was of great importance because getting it again is always more difficult than doing it for the first time.”
“Agradezco a mis compañeros de equipo a todo el staff y la gente que trabaja con nosotros día a día que sin ellos no ubiese sido posible todo este proceso de mi crecimiento.”
I thank my teammates and all the staff and people who work with us every day because without them this whole process of my growth as a member of the Kickers would not have been possible.”
After earning league MVP, Golden Boot, and All-League First Team honors during the truncated 2020 season, Terzaghi continued his ascendancy as the face of USL League One as he scored 18 goals in 27 appearances — averaging a goal every 128.4 minutes — setting the league’s new single-season goal scoring record. Furthermore, Terzaghi now sits as the league’s all-time leading goal scorer with 28 goals over the last two seasons.
“To follow up the 2020 Golden Boot with an 18 goal 2021 Golden Boot season is an incredible accomplishment,” Chief Sporting Officer and Head Coach Darren Sawatzky said. “He was a known commodity going into this season so it makes it even more difficult.
“Emi’s presence in our club is much greater than the statistics he has accumulated over the past two seasons. He is a humble professional who comes to work each day ready to help the team in any way needed. There are some very good players in USL League One, having Emi in our culture here day to day showcases for all of us how valuable he is for our club.”
Terzaghi shared the responsibility of acting as club co-captain alongside Ivan Magalhães during the 2021 season, and Terzaghi led by example who specialized in changing the outcomes of matches as he scored the game-winning goal in six matches as well as assisting Jonathan Bolanos’ game winner against North Texas on July 3.
The Argentine talisman’s ability to come up clutch was on full display in the waning weeks of the season as the Kickers went on a five-match winning streak to guarantee its first appearance in the postseason since 2016 with Terzaghi scoring the game winner in four of the matches and a brace in the regular-season home finale against Forward Madison.
The consistency displayed by Terzaghi throughout the season cannot be overstated as the forward picked up Player of the Month honors during the months of July and October. Terzaghi was a fixture in the league’s weekly honors earning Cleer Audio Player of the Week in week 13 as well as recognition in the Cleer Audio Team of the Week during weeks 5, 17, 19, 25, 26, 28, and 30.
El rey’s heroics on the pitch saw him earn his second-straight Red Army Supporters’ MVP that was awarded to him following the conclusion of the regular-season home finale.
“¡Soy muy agradecido y trabajo muy duro para representar a nuestra comunidad al club para llevarlo a lo más alto! ¡También devolverle a los fans todo el cariño que nos dan siempre ! ellos son un parte muy especial para mi.”
“I am very grateful and I work very hard to represent our community and this club to take it to the top! To give back to the fans after all the love they always give us, they are a very special part of me!” – Richmond Kickers Announcment
Richmond Kickers’ starting goalkeeper and goalkeeping coach, Akira Fitzgerald was named the USL League One Goalkeeper of the Year for his record-breaking efforts during the 2021 season, the league announced Tuesday.
“It’s a great honor to win this award because there are many top goalkeepers in this league who had fantastic seasons and will go on and have great careers,” Fitzgerald said. “I’ve been extremely fortunate to have played this long and to win this award at this stage of my career is a great accomplishment.
“I feel more motivated than ever to continue to push on and achieve more for the club and myself.”
The 34-year-old veteran enjoyed a career year as he set the new single-season league record of 89 saves. Furthermore, Fitzgerald recorded 10 clean sheets that led all goalkeepers as the Kickers finished tied for second in total clean sheets behind first-place Greenville Triumph SC.
Fitzgerald would also record a 72.1 percent save percentage ranking ahead of 2021 Golden Glove winner Rashid Nuhu of Union Omaha.
“Being able to lead the league in clean sheets was an incredible collective effort that we as a group can take great pride in,” Fitzgerald said. “Every player played a role in making sure we were defensively solid each week, and I have to give an incredible amount of love to my backline who always put everything they had into each match.
He continued, “I think it also showed how strong our goalkeeping department was to set a single-season record in saves while also helping the team into the playoffs. I want to thank Austin Aviza and Austin Causey for their incredible professionalism and hard work throughout the year because without them it wouldn’t have been possible to achieve these kinds of numbers and success for the club.”
Fitzgerald previously was named to the USL League One All-League First Team earlier in November 2021 before being named as a finalist for Goalkeeper of the Year. He was nominated alongside Omaha’s Nuhu and New England Revolution II’s Joe Rice — a former Richmond Kicker and understudy to Fitzgerald in 2019.
“It’s a great accomplishment for Akira after a very good season,” Chief Sporting Officer and Head Coach Darren Sawatzky said. “You need your goalkeeper to keep you in games and Akira has done that consistently over the past two seasons.
“He is in charge of our goalkeeping department here in Richmond and we look forward to him between the pipes and running training in 2022 and beyond. I cannot think of a human being with more class, and I am happy he is being recognized.” – Richmond Kickers Announcement
Photos and Game Summary: Spiders Have No Answers Against Elon
An 11-0 run in the fourth allowed Elon to win easily, 71 – 51 against University of Richmond.
Richmond women’s basketball dropped a home contest to the visiting Elon Phoenix Thursday night at the Robins Center, 71-50. Sophomore Addie Budnik posted a career-high seven blocks and scored all nine of Richmond’s points in the fourth quarter as the Spiders fell to 1-2 on the year while Elon improved to a perfect 3-0.
“Pretty disappointing result and process tonight,” said head coach Aaron Roussell. “I felt good about the matchup. I knew Elon was a good team, and we went into it saying we had to control the boards. I thought we did a good job of that in the first quarter and really in the whole first half. I don’t think overall we made [Elon] feel very uncomfortable today, and we’ve got to address that. On the offensive end, it was a little frustrating. I thought we made a lot of the same mistakes and that’s obviously something we’ve got to address, and we’ve got to learn how to bounce back from that.”
Richmond kept things close early on, trailing by just one point at the end of the first quarter. After getting down 7-2, the Spiders fought back and Grace Townsend’s and-1 at the 5:10 mark evened things up at 9-9. She later tied things back up at 12-12 with another and-1. Budnik’s second-chance layup in the closing seconds of the frame made it 18-17 Elon after the first 10 minutes.
Elon began to pull away in the second quarter, but Kylee Lewandowski connected on a 3-pointer with 4:33 to go in the first half to cut Richmond’s deficit back down to two points at 26-24.
The Spiders came out firing in the third frame with a pair of treys in the first minute of the period. Kate Kilmkiewicz’s second triple of the quarter later cut Richmond’s deficit back down to single digits, but Elon pushed its lead back to 16 to close the frame and used an 11-0 run in the fourth to cruise to the win.
- Addie Budnik scored all nine of Richmond’s points in the fourth quarter on 4-of-4 shooting from the field to end up leading the Spiders in scoring with 15 points. Her seven blocks tonight surpassed her previous career-high most recently set in the season opener against Charlotte. She also led the Spiders on the glass with seven rebounds.
- Grace Townsend also scored in double-figures on the night with 13 points, one point shy of tying a career-high. She added six rebounds and a lair of steals to her stat line.
- Kate Klimkiewicz contributed eight points, breaking her nine-game double-digit scoring streak.
- Richmond shot 35.1 percent from the field, including 4-for-20 from beyond the arc.
The Spiders return to action on Sunday, Nov. 21 when they host UMBC at the Robins Center. Tip is set for 2 p.m.