Score: VCU 0, No. 1 Marshall 1
Location: Richmond, Va. (Sports Backers Stadium)
Records: VCU 1-4-4, Marshall 9-0-0
THE SHORT STORY: Facing the No. 1 team in the country, VCU Men’s Soccer matched Marshall in shots on goal and nearly put home a game winner, before a late second half goal by the Thundering Herd gave No. 1 Marshall a 1-0 win on Wednesday night.
“I was very proud of the guys tonight. They gave a tremendous effort and played very well,” said Head Coach Dave Giffard. “We had several high percentage chances to score and we didn’t take them. Give credit to the Marshall player who scored the goal, he took a really good half chance and that was the difference in the game.
“Definitely a great opportunity for a win that was lost but in the big picture the loss doesn’t stop us from reaching any of our goals as a team. The key as I’ve said from the start of the season is our performance and growing week to week.
“Our RPI will hold strong thanks to the strength of the non-conference schedule and will give us a second way into the NCAA tournament if we take care of business in our league, but the focus is on the Atlantic 10 now and taking one challenge at a time to try and get as many points and home games in the post season as we can and chase the first trophy that’s available for us to win.
“The last four games have been very good in many phases. Tonight’s performance was very good but in a different type of game where we weren’t on the ball and running at the other team for long stretches.
“It was a more mature performance about doing what needed to be done to knock off the top team in the country and I thought we did almost everything to plan, unfortunately the goal didn’t come, but proud of the guys.
“This team is maturing each game and each week the way we hoped they would and is capable of making a deep run before these guys leave VCU. Most importantly, we’re back at it Saturday against a very good Loyola Chicago team.”
- VCU ripped off five shots on goal to match Marshall’s out put on goal
- During the second half, the Rams put three on goal compared to just two for Marshall
- Andrey Salmeron and Gerardo Castillo each had two shots to lead the Rams
- Salmeron, William Hitchcock, Andres Rodriguez, Mouhamed Tucker and Scott McLeod all had a team-high one shot on goal
- John Ermini made the start in goal, stopping four shots
HOW IT HAPPENED
- VCU opened things up quickly when in the third minute, Rodriguez ripped a shot that forced Marshall’s Gabriel Perrotta to make an early save
- The physical play and high press the Rams placed on the Thundering Herd began to take effect as VCU made it as uncomfortable as possible for Marshall from the start
- In the 23rd minute the Rams got another shot on goal, that was saved again, this one from Hitchcock
- Ermini was called upon for his first save of the match in the 31st minute, stopping Marshall’s shot on goal
- As the half came to a close, Ermini was again called upon
- In the 43rd minute and right at the buzzer, Ermini stopped a pair of Marshall shots to keep it scoreless heading into the break
- Right out of the break, VCU’s McLeod sent one on goal of a corner kick that nearly found the back of the net
- In the 65th minute the Rams had one of their best chances in the match
- Coming down the left side, Tucker ripped a shot that was knocked back into play by the Marshall keeper
- The rebound immediately found the foot of Salmeron who took a shot that again was stopped by the Marshall keeper, ending VCU’s best threat in the match
- Ermini made a save in the 75th minute to keep things at 0-0
- But in the 77th minute Marshall scored on a tough angle to take a 1-0 lead
- The Rams kept pushing for a tying goal, but could not find the shot they wanted, with things wrapping up at 1-0
UP NEXT: VCU hits the road for a trip to Chicago, Illinois for an A-10 matchup with Loyola Chicago. The Rams then return to Sports Backers Stadium for the first of three-straight home matches, starting with an A-10 matchup with Dayton on Oct. 4.
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