Thursday night was quite the night for VCU Women’s Soccer as they celebrated Senior Night with a battle of the Rams against Rhode Island. VCU seniors Megan Dell and Amanda Hallesjo were honored by the Black & Gold with a highly competitive match in their final home match at Sports Backers.
Offense Going 45 & Then Some
Rhode Island got their offense going minutes after kick-off. A pair of strikes sailed wide for the visitors as VCU continued working on getting their offense into working order. Maddi Santo took a header chance in the 13’ minute that went over the goal. After Allyson Reynolds was shown a yellow card in the 20’ minute, VCU saw the green light offensively. Amanda Tredway took 3 strikes near frame during an 8-minute span and Samantha Jerabek added another attempt.
The Battle of the Rams went back to an evenly matched affair until the 42’ minute. Niki Malancone took a strike that forced Montana Ligman to make a save. Ligman was unable to secure the ball which led to Malancone collecting the rebound and scoring her first goal of the season. Malancone nearly doubled her goal tally with a header just a minute later, however, Ligman was able to hang on to the ball.
VCU’s offense was in good form in the first 45 minutes with 13 total strikes; Rhody was held to only 2 shots and trailed 1-0 heading into half-time.
An Equalizer & Extra Futbol
Both squads began the 2nd half with no advantage until Rhody struck in the 59’ minute. Svan Hermannsdottir took a free kick after VCU was called for a foul that sailed into the upper 90 past Audrey Sanderson for the equalizer.
Kimberly Ito nearly answered in the 61’ minute with a strike that tested Rhody’s goalkeeper with a diving save. Ito had help offensively with Ingrid Brouwer, Tori Browne and Samantha Jerabek taking strike attempts in search for the go-ahead goal.
Senior Night needed extra time to find a result as 90 minutes passed with 1-1 on the scoreboard. VCU dominated play in the first overtime period with a hungry offense and solid defending. The Black & Gold had 5 attempts that couldn’t find the back of the net; Kelly Graves nearly stole the result with a strike on goal with less than a minute remaining that was saved.
Golden Home Ending
In the second OT, VCU once again dominated on both sides of the ball. Nearly one minute passed as VCU recorded a corner kick and 2 strikes on goal that was saved. Rhode Island was held on their side of the pitch until Lyndsey Gutzmer scored the golden goal in the 102’ minute for the Black & Gold.
Kimberly Ito fired a shot that ended up saved by Rhody. Megan Dell recovered the ball and sent another strike to force another Rhody’s save. Gutzmer was in the right place at the right time as she got a boot on the rebound and gave VCU the 2-1 victory in double overtime.
VCU improved to 5-2-2 in Atlantic 10 conference play and have won their last 3 consecutive matches. The Rams now have 17 points and are tied for 4th place in the A-10 Standings. Overall VCU sits at 9-4-3 heading into their last match of the regular season.
VCU Women’s Soccer heads to La Salle for their final A-10 regular season match-up on Sunday, October 22nd. Kick-off is scheduled for a 1 PM start.