Wednesday morning had extra mocha in the coffee mug with VCU Field Hockey taking on Rider University at Cary Street Field. After a disappointing result at Bucknell, the Rams returned home to get their sticks back in working order against the Broncs. On the menu for this game: Offense and Fouls smothered with a side of heartbreak.
Heavy On The Offense Please!
The first period of play was a war between VCU’s attack and Rider’s goalkeeper Lena Vandam. VCU’s offense went to work in just minutes in search of the opening goal. Emily McNamara and Litiana Field got their sticks firing, however, Vandam responded with save after save.
More productivity and VCU reinforcements gave the Broncs defensive nightmares. VCU was able to control possession and use their passing to set-up promising shot attempts. It was a bad shift in the office for Rider with the Broncs having no answer nor counter for the Rams.
Maite Sturm struck gold in the 27th minute. The sophomore out of Germany struck a well-placed shot off the rebound into the back of the net past Vandam. Even with a 1-0 advantage, the Rams continued dominating with a 14-1 shot advantage in the first half.
Rider Puts Their Order In
Rider flipped the script with some halftime adjustments and an equalizer. The Broncs started the 2nd half with a few shots that forced VCU goalkeeper Sasha Elliott to make the save. Elliott was unable to make the save in the 49th minute after a strike by Gi Morganti took a deflection that spun the ball in the opposite direction.
With the game tied at 1-1, both teams went heavy on the offensive side of the ball. For VCU, the trio of Field, McNamara and Maite Sturm were hitting their target hard. Rider was more composed in defense and was able to block while Vandam racked up more saves in goal.
A Physical One With More Time Added
Fouls also saw an increase with the referee’s whistle being heard on multiple occasions. VCU and Rider racked up 40 fouls each in 65 minutes of play. McNamara nearly stole the result in the final minute of play on a VCU corner. Sturm sent the ball with velocity to McNamara who struck the ball wide left just before the period ended. After 70 minutes of gameplay, overtime was needed at Cary Street Field.
Overtime showed a resemblance of the first half. Lauren Kaup got the first strike off for the Rams then once again the floodgates were open. Vandam came up huge for Rider with back to back saves on Shanon Pereira and Emily McNamara. McNamara would be back with two more attempts that were blocked by the Broncs.
Just under two minutes to go in overtime, Rider would find themselves near VCU’s goal. In the 79th minute, Carly Brosious had possession of the ball with her back facing the net. Brosious did post spin move that’s fully accustomed to basketball tactics and smacked her shot into the goal stunning the Rams.
Disbelief mixed with heartbreak on Cary Street while Rider celebrated an unbelievable turn of events in a 2-1 overtime victory over VCU. The Black & Gold had a 33-9 total shot advantage and registered 12 penalty corners. VCU returns to Cary Street on Sunday, October 7th to take on UMass in Atlantic 10 play at 1 PM.