VCU Women’s Soccer had their eyes set on returning to the A-10 Championship match and had to go through #3 Saint Joseph’s in the A-10 Semi-Finals. A tussle of a match between conference rivals locked the Rams and Hawks for 90 minutes of emotional playoff soccer in Dayton, Ohio.
SURPRISE! IT’S JERABEK!!
Samantha Jerabek showed why she made the A-10 All-Conference First Team just two minutes after kickoff. Megan Enos found Jerabek on the cross into the box for the finish into the left corner for VCU. Jerabek celebrated her 11th goal of the year with Enos as VCU rocked the Hawks with an early conceded goal.
Saint Joseph’s did not stay down with five corner kicks and ten total strikes. Grace Young stood strong as VCU’s goalkeeper making five saves in the first half. She had help from her teammates in defense late with blocks and clearances to keep the Hawks away from the goal.
Kelly Graves and Kimberly Ito nearly doubled the Rams lead on the opposite end. Grace Bendon shook off that early goal misfortune for SJU and denied both Rams. Jerabek nearly played spoiler before halftime but her strike sailed just over the goal. VCU walked back into the locker room with the 1-0 lead over Saint Joseph’s.
Morgan Bower found the back of the net in the 56th minute to get the Hawks back in the match. VCU was unable to clear the SJU free-kick into their penalty area as the ball popped into the air near the net. Mackenzie Ehresman headed the ball to Bower as turned around and struck in the equalizer to tie the match at 1-1.
An Unexpected Header
Both squads were at each other’s boots for the ball in order to create a go-ahead goal. Bendon went a little too hard on a foul in the 74th minute that resulted in a yellow card. VCU went over 14 minutes without a strike on goal while Saint Joseph’s kept knocking at the door multiple times.
Ingrid Brouwer managed to force Bendon off her line for a header that skipped past her into the back of the net for VCU. With 15 minutes remaining, Brouwer scored her first goal of the season to spring the Rams back out in front.
Desperation mode started to settle in with Saint Joseph’s firing for one more goal with time not on the Hawks’ side. Young faced back to back shots at the 80th-minute mark and was a saving success on both occasions. The redshirt freshman out of Chesterfield made 8 saves against Saint Joseph’s.
Making Another Trip to the ‘Ship! 🏆
With one more yellow card shown to Taylor Ryan (85′) and a final corner kick by the Hawks, full time had arrived at Baujan Field. For the second consecutive season VCU Women’s Soccer heads to the A-10 Championship match with a 2-1 victory over #3 Saint Joseph’s.
Championship Sunday features #1 Saint Louis vs. #2 VCU at Baujan Field on Sunday, November 4th. The Billikens have not lost an Atlantic 10 conference match this season. Kick-off for the Atlantic 10 Women’s Soccer Championships happens at 12 noon.