Score: VCU 0, Massachusetts 0
Location: Richmond, Va. (Sports Backers Stadium)
Records: VCU 0-3-3 (0-0-1 Atlantic 10), UMass 5-0-2 (0-0-1 Atlantic 10)
The short story: Both the Rams and the Minutemen had their fair share of opportunities throughout the 90-minute contest, but neither side could find the back of the net and had to settle for a tie in their first Atlantic 10 Conference game.
- It was a back-and-forth battle, and the final team stats reflect that, with UMass holding a slight edge in shots over the Rams, 16-12.
- Redshirt sophomore goalkeeper John Ermini played all 90 minutes in net, getting credit for the Rams’ first shutout of 2022.
- Freshman midfielder Moussa Ndiaye, sophomore midfielder William Hitchcock, and sophomore midfielder Jonathan Kanagwa accounted for two shots each.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The first half was a feeling out process for both the Rams and the Minutemen, with not that many great scoring opportunities for either side.
- The pace of play and aggression picked up in the second half, as the two teams got more shots on net, but none of them got by the goalkeepers.
- The two sides combined for five yellow cards in the game, four of which came in the second half of play.
HEAR FROM HEAD COACH DAVE GIFFARD
“I was proud of the guys again for another step in their growth from last game to this one. It was the first time we kept a clean sheet so far this year, exhibitions included, and so that’s a big step. Obviously, UMass defensively is very strong and very stout. They’ve been scoring a lot of goals, and so it was nice to not concede any. We’d like to have gotten a result, but at this point I don’t think we’re prepared to break down teams consistently enough and do the things we need against very good defensive teams. So we’ll take the point and three in a row unbeaten and keep getting better, and we’ve got another tough game coming up on Tuesday with ODU.”
The Rams continue their mid-season homestand on Tuesday, Sept. 20 with an in-state, non-conference bout against Old Dominion. Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Sports Backers Stadium, and the game will be streamed live on ESPN+.
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