In their final non-conference match of the season, VCU Men’s Soccer hosted Akron at Sports Backers Stadium. The match featured defensive battles, extra time, even more extra time due to Mother Nature, and goals aplenty between the two squads. Things got misty along with a match that twists and turned over every blade of grass pass 90 minutes of gameplay.
Who Wants A Goal?
The first half was a standoff until Jared Greene broke through in the 27th minute. Simon Fitch found Greene near Akron’s penalty area. Greene spun the ball past the rushing Akron keeper into the back of the net. His fourth goal of the year gave VCU an early 1-0 lead.
Akron would equalize 13 minutes later. Colin Biros took the Zips’ 6th corner kick of the 1st half; the ball was sent to the head of Marco Milanese who headed it in from 6 yards. Travis Cooke only needed 60 seconds to move the ball down the opposite side of the field for the Rams. Cooke blasted a wonder strike from 18 yards into the net that put VCU back up 2-1 in the 41st minute.
Ezana Kahsay nearly played spoiler for Akron with a last-second strike that forced Mario Sequeira to make his solo save of the half. The halftime horn echoed at Sports Backers Stadium with VCU ahead 2-1 over Akron.
Weather Hits Pause
Thursday evening sprung a leak in the gameplay thanks to Mother Nature. A storm mixed with downpour and lightning forced the match to be suspended for an hour and a half. After deliberation between the coaches and the officials, both teams got back on the pitch to finish the match.
As the 2nd half began, there were some slip-ups on the pitch due to the weather. David Egbo of Akron managed to get a shot in the 50th minute on target that ricocheted off the post. Physicality started to ramp up amongst players and the referees’ whistles were busy. Akron was whistled for two yellow cards (Marco Milanese & David Egbo) in the 57th minute after tackles gone badly.
Akron With A 1-2 Combo
The match flipped over in favor of the Zips at the 68th minute. The minute started with a successful corner kick that Diogo Pacheco kicked in from 6 yards to tie the match. Pacheco doubled his goal tally 10 seconds later after intercepting a bad VCU pass near their box and scoring into the left corner of the net. Shock and awe invaded the pitch with Akron flipping the script and going ahead of the Rams 3-2.
With time winding down, Akron continued playing physical and the yellow cards kept raining down on the Zips. Colin Biros was shown a yellow in the 74th minute and Zeron Sewell nearly took advantage with a header shot that spun wide right. Daniel Strachan saw his yellow card in the 82nd minute.
VCU took 6 total strikes in the 2nd half and the last one was golden. Siad Haji sent a cross into the penalty area from a VCU free kick. The ball took a backward deflection and landed at Peter Pearson’s feet. Pearson got a quick strike off that deflected once again and rolled over the goal line to tie the match at 3-3 in the 89th minute. Full time arrived and overtime was in the workings on a Thursday night.
Short & Unsweet
Overtime lasted for only 5 minutes. Morgan Hackworth made way towards goal on the right side of the pitch. Pacheco flanked from the opposite side and collected his hat-trick on the night with a header that gave Akron the win. A tough night ended in a disappointment for VCU in a 4-3 defeat at home in overtime versus Akron.
Atlantic 10 conference play begins for VCU Men’s Soccer in their next match. The Rams travel to La Salle for their A-10 opener on Saturday, September 29th. Kick-off begins at 7 PM.