Score: (RV) No. 1 VCU 3, No. 7 Massachusetts 1
Location: Richmond, Va. (Sports Backers Stadium)
Records: VCU 7-5-5, Massachusetts 7-6-6
THE SHORT STORY: Despite giving up an early goal, RV VCU Men’s Soccer responded with two first half goals and a third in the second half to secure their spot in the Atlantic 10 Tournament Championship Game on Wednesday evening.
VCU now heads to its first A-10 Championship game since 2017 and has a chance at a second A-10 trophy this season.
“A great and gritty performance by the boys tonight moves us on to Sunday,” said Head Coach Dave Giffard. “UMass is such a well coached team and is very tough to play against. I was proud of the guys tonight for dealing with the way they play and finding a way to get three goals and move on.”
- Andrey Salmeron had the equalizing goal, his third of the season
- William Hitchcock also netted his third goal of the season to give VCU insurance in the second period
- VCU’s opening goal was an own UMass goal scored off a corner
- Jonathan Kanagwa assisted on Hitchcock’s goal, also his fifth of the season
- John Ermini made the start in goal, stopping three shots
- Salmeron led the team with five total shots
- Papa Toure, Kanagwa, and Castillo each added two shots
- VCU outshot the Minutemen, 13-11, finishing with six shots on goal to UMass’ four
HOW IT HAPPENED
- UMass attacked early, taking a shot on goal in the tenth minute that was saved by Ermini
- The Minutemen scored their lone goal shortly after their first shot by Michael Rojas
- Following their goal, the Rams did not allow a shot from UMass for the rest of the half
- In the 42nd minute VCU took a corner that found the near post, taking a deflection off a UMass defender’s head to go in for an own goal which tied things up at 1-1
- VCU didn’t spend much time equalized with UMass as Salmeron took a shot just outside the box with 22 seconds left in the half to give the Rams the lead going into the intermission
- VCU began the second half aggressively, taking two shots from Kanagwa and Castillo on a breakaway
- After Kanagwa’s shot hit the goalpost, Hitchcock connected with the ball to give VCU a two-goal lead
- Ermini made an impressive save from a shot way outside the box to hold the Minutemen to their single goal
- In the end, VCU was able to close out the 3-1 win and move on to the title game
UP NEXT: VCU will next host the A-10 Championship against Dayton on Sun., Nov. 12th at noon with an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament in play.
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