Score: (RV) VCU 2, (RV)/#22 UNCW 1 (OT)
Location: Richmond, Va. (Sports Backers Stadium)
Records: (RV) VCU 9-4-1, (RV)/#22 UNCW 8-5-1
The short story: Senior midfielder Oquin Robinson fired home a free kick goal in the 100th minute to give the Rams their second consecutive overtime win.
- This is VCU’s third win of the season against a team that was ranked in one of the three major polls. The Seahawks are currently #22 in the TopDrawerSoccer poll, while both the Rams and UNCW are receiving votes in the United Soccer Coaches poll.
- It’s also the third overtime win of the season for the Rams.
- Robinson’s goal was his third of the season and fourth of his career. It was also his first career game-winner.
- Freshman midfielder William Hitchcock scored his third goal of the year to tie the game in the second half, with assists from Philip Klomp and Pablo Varela Fraga, who both picked up their first career assists in black and gold.
- UNCW outshot VCU 13-7, but the Rams held a 7-3 advantage in shots on goal, aided by VCU defenders blocking several Seahawk shots.
- There were 32 combined fouls in a tightly-contested, physical match.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Robinson had the first scoring chance of the night for VCU, delivering a shot to the bottom left corner that forced a save in the 13th minute.
- In the 38th minute, Varela Fraga charged down the left wing and ripped a shot that UNCW goalkeeper Gabriel Perrotta could only parry away.
- The Seahawks got on the board first shortly after halftime, as Nicolas Molina finished off a cross from Cannon Tootle.
- The Rams had a dangerous opportunity in the 55th minute as senior Jared Greene started a move in the VCU half, playing a ball for Klomp. Klomp then played a through ball for freshman midfielder Damian Gallegos, who had his shot deflected before it was smothered by Perrotta.
- VCU equalized in the 67th minute. Varela Fraga, whose hold-up play was effective all night for the Rams, received a ball with his back to goal and turned around a defender. He played a ball wide for Klomp, who hit a first-time pass with his left across the face of the goal for Hitchcock to bury in the back of the net at the back post.
- Klomp played another great left-footed cross in the 97th minute, floating a ball for Greene, who volleyed a shot that forced a save at the near post.
- Robinson gave VCU the win in the final minute of the first overtime period, taking a free kick just outside the box and blasting it over the wall and into the top right corner.
QUOTING HEAD COACH DAVE GIFFARD
“I was proud of the guys tonight for finding a way to grind out a result against a very good team. We were down some guys again, but as this group has done this year, different people stepped up and got the job done.”
The Rams get back into conference play, hosting Fordham on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 7 p.m. from Sports Backers Stadium. Saturday will also be VCU’s Senior Night.
Every home match is streamed on ESPN+. For more information on VCU Men’s Soccer tickets, click here.
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