The VCU Rams welcomed the Stetson Hatters to Sports Backers Stadium for their home opening match. Stetson was the first of 10 non-conference games for VCU this season. The visitors were the first to come up with a successful strike when Luke Ferreira found the back of the net off a cross from Gianluca Carbone in the 16th minute. The Rams demonstrated a more controlled offensive front with improved control on ground passing since their exhibition performance against NC State. The Black and Gold owned possessions and relentlessly attacked the goal. Their persistence paid off when their 5th shot on goal made it past Paul Ladwig and VCU scored their equalizer. Steven Dal Molin sent a corner kick assist into Gerald Vargas to tie up the game in the 42nd minute shortly before the half.
In the second half VCU continued to control possessions and though the offense moved the ball forward they came up short on several opportunities. The Rams took 13 shots in the first half (5 on goal) and added 7 more (5 on goal) for a total of 20 opportunities during regulation play. In contrast Stetson took only 3 shots (2 on goal) in the entire 90 minutes which left the teams tied at 1-1 at the end of regulation play.
The black and gold headed into extra time looking for a golden goal and the first win of the 2016-17 season. After another missed opportunity for VCU the game was brought to an abrupt and heartbreaking of an end for the Rams as Gabriel Diniz was able to slide a low ball past Pierre Gardan with just 12 seconds remaining in OT. Diniz left the VCU players and fans stunned at the last minute as the Rams suffered their first loss of the season with a heartbreaking 2-1 overtime stunner.
VCU returns to the pitch on Sunday 8/28 for a 7 pm match up against UNLV. Come support your Rams and help recognize student-athletes who have achieved a 3.0 or better GPA.
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