Out Duked: VCU Falls to JMU in OT
It was another exciting match at Cary Street Field as the VCU Rams took on the JMU Dukes. JMU came into the contest with a 5-2 record and VCU with 3-4. The Rams are displaying incredible growth under Head Coach Laura Baker who is now at her 4th season leading the program. VCU got out to an early lead and goal keeper Chessa Kownurka continues to impress defensively, but the Dukes were able to outlast the Rams to claim a victory in overtime.
Emily McNamara was able to roll a shot past the defense off a penalty corner from Rebecca Ward to give the Rams an early 1-0 lead. The Dukes came back with an answer from Casey O’Donnell who was able to dribble in and find the back of the net to tie in up for JMU. Near the end of the period Sydney Weise came up with a goal for VCU to give them a 2-1 advantage going into the break.
McNamara once again put VCU on the board first with an assist from Natalie Bohmke and the Black and Gold looked good with a 3-1 advantage over the Dukes. The celebration was interrupted by a quick response from JMU when Hannah Hall sent in a penalty stroke cutting the deficit to 3-2. The Dukes found an extra gear offensively and Melanie Kusakavitch made it past the defense to tie it up 3-3 before the end of regulation sending the game to overtime.
The Rams held strong for 7 minutes against the Dukes offensive onslaught before Hannah Hall was able to go 1 0n 1 with Kownurko and to score the final goal of the match and claim a 4-1 victory for JMU.
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the defensive powerhouse in the net for VCU. In the past 2 matches Kownurka has produced 25 saves for the Rams. In today’s match she stopped the ball 14 times, passing her season high of 13 from last year. In this game there were 31 shots from the opponent with 18 on goal. In comparison VCU took only 6. The Rams’ quality was impressive with 4 on goal and 3 finding their target. This is a program on the rise and as the season progresses and they continue their growth they may have a few more surprises for their fans.
The Rams hit the road for their next 2 games traveling to La Salle for a 3:30 pm match on September 30th followed by St. Joe’s on October 2 at 12:00 pm.
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