For the first time in program history, VCU Field Hockey will compete in the Atlantic 10 Championship after coming up victorious in double overtime against #3 UMass. #2 VCU held the advantage only to see the Minutewomen draw level once again until a golden game-winner thanks to Litiana Field’s heroics.
The first 35 minutes was painted Black & Gold with VCU going to work on offense. Emily McNamara got her stick firing within the opening 8 minutes of the match and found the back of the net. Shannon Pereira sent a pass to McNamara at the top of the circle and the VCU senior scored the opening goal in the 9th minute.
McNamara was not done as she doubled down on her goal tally just before halftime. After Maite Sturm sent in the ball from the VCU penalty corner, Field knocked the ball to McNamara in front of the cage and slammed in her 27th goal of the season.
VCU took 10 shots in the first half while holding the Minutewomen to only one chance. Ellen Ryan Field showed some resemblance of Cary Street with the Rams up 2-0 over UMass at halftime.
UMass stumbled upon a lifeline just as the 2nd half got underway. A costly VCU turnover was scooped up by the Minutewomen just outside the Rams’ goal. Lucy Cooper buried the opportunity to pull UMass within a goal.
Sasha Elliott faced a stronger onslaught from UMass in goal during the 2nd half. Elliott came up with two consecutive saves in the 52nd minute until Courtney Ocasal scored off the third try to stun VCU. A flip of the field hockey narrative was in action with UMass tying the game at 2-2.
Maite Sturm joined forces with Field in search of a game winner. Field had two opportunities that were saved and Sturm’s shot was denied with a defensive save. 70 minutes was not enough time to decide a winner.
EVERYTHING on the Field in OT!
Overtime was a reset for VCU in the first period for their offense. The Rams got back to creating their own shot with McNamara taking charge with all 4 shots. UMass remained strong defensively but could not do much on offense once again. The second overtime period was a two-minute drill that ended with the golden goal that the Rams were craving.
A penalty corner was rewarded to VCU in the 82nd minute. Maite Sturm hit the pass straight to Field as she slammed VCU into their first ever Atlantic 10 Championship match with the game winner. #2 VCU got the job done versus #3 UMass 3-2 in the A-10 Semi-Final in Pennsylvania.
To The ‘Ship! 🏆
Ellen Ryan Field is the home of Championship Saturday as #2 VCU takes on #1 Saint Joseph’s for the Atlantic 10 Field Hockey Championship. The championship begins at 2 PM on Saturday, November 3rd.