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Champs Dethroned: #8 VCU Upsets #4 Fordham 1-0

Champs Dethroned: #8 VCU Upsets #4 Fordham 1-0

The Atlantic 10 Men’s Soccer Semi-Finals featured a Battle of the Rams between #8 VCU vs. #4 Fordham.  The defending A-10 tournament champions were shown the exit by the Black & Gold after falling to VCU 1-0 in George Mason Stadium.

VCU and Fordham where involved in a stalemate for a majority of the 1st half. Trading chances at opposite sides of the pitch while the battle for midfield control waged on. VCU held control in the early minutes until Fordham was able to break through to put the Rams on the defensive.

Sophomore Rafael Andrade Santos knocked in a beauty from 25 yards into the upper 90 to give control back to the Black & Gold along with a 1-0 lead just before the halftime whistle.

Fordham started the 2nd half aggressively searching for that equalizer. A pair of corner kicks and free kick but Fordham was unable to find the back of net early in the period. It looked like Fordham might finally have found the equalizer they were searching for but sophomore RJ Roberts spoiled it with a goal line clearance off the header from Ryan Cupolo in the 54th minute.

Roberts’ defending heroics were called upon once again in the 68th minute as he yet again cleared a promising header coming from Fordham’s Andres Penfold from the VCU goal line.

Less than 10 minutes remaining, the Rams almost became their own worst enemy as a Dennis Castillo clearance was heading towards the goal. Goalkeeper Pierre Gardan held off the danger along with a couple of Fordham players gunning for the open ball to make the last minute save for VCU.

Gardan accepted the call one more time in the 88th minute off a Fordham corner kick that made way into the box. Penfold got another header off of it and Gardan made the dive to come up with the acrobatic save.

The final whistle was blown and #8 VCU pulls of their second upset of the tournament and move on to Championship Sunday.

#8 VCU will take on the winner of #2 Dayton vs. #6 Rhode Island in the A-10 Men’s Soccer Championship Final. The Final is scheduled for Sunday, November 15th at 12:00 PM.

Mark graduated from VCU in 2014 with a major in Criminal Justice and a minor in Psychology. He started as a fan of the Black & Gold in the stands his freshman year. Mark was known as "Kazie" for his charismatic fandom with the VCU's student organization the Rowdy Rams. While at VCU he gained experience in sports media with WVCW on a sports radio show called Rowdy Radio. Following graduation, Mark continued crafting his social media skills with the Richmond Kickers while also handling VCU coverage. He is a true fan of the Rams and vocally passionate on and off camera. After the final whistle, you can probably find him at local RVA bar or brewery enjoying a drink and conversation.

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