VCU Men’s Soccer had a big challenge awaiting them on Ludwig Field Tuesday night. The Rams took on a former NCAA Men’s Soccer champion in #9 Maryland Terrapins and the Black & Gold passed the exam with flying colors.
Wait Wha? Huh? GOAL!!
In the opening minutes, VCU hung tough against Maryland. The Terrapins were unable to get their offense started with the Rams’ defense smothering them. Rafael Andrade Santos and Siad Haji were VCU’s playmakers upfield as their chemistry led to some promising chances offensively.
Haji and Santos unified in the creation of the opening goal in the 22’ minute. Haji passed the ball towards Santos on a run towards the net. Santos tested his luck from nearly 30 yards out with a strike over the Maryland keeper that hit the jackpot. A beautiful goal by the senior midfielder put Maryland on upset early as VCU went up 1-0.
Defense & Dominance Double-Down
Maryland quickly went in search of an equalizer. As the first half continued, Mario Sequeira remained strong as VCU’s goalkeeper. Multiple chances at an equalizer passed Maryland by with Sequeira making save after save. Miles Stray nearly scored off of a corner kick in the 35’ minute but Sequeira made a huge diving save at the goal line far post.
VCU played a solid 1st half and doubled their lead just before the whistle. Santos doubled his goal tally after Eli Lockaby and Siad Haji moved the ball into the penalty area. Santos blasted the rolling ball in from 5 yards and VCU doubled down a 2-0 lead over the Terrapins.
A 3rd For the Upset Charm
A hunger for goals for VCU was quenched minutes into the 2nd half. Santos traded a goal for an assist in the 53’ as he found Francesco Amorosino in the box. Amorosino finished the scoring opportunity from 10 yards out sending VCU into nostalgia with a 3-0 lead.
As VCU continued enjoying their futbol, Maryland’s struggles kept rolling along. The Rams’ backline kept the pressure on Maryland’s strikers that limited shot opportunities. In the midfield, VCU controlled possession while using every blade of grass to move the ball around.
The home team nearly put a goal on the scoreboard in the 83’ minute. Maryland was able to muster up an opportunity thanks to Sebastian Elney. Elney tapped the ball by Sequeira as it rolled past the goal-line. Realization quickly took the Terrapins joy away as the offside flag went up to take away the goal.
Ludwig Field was turned into stunned silence across the crowd as the home team witnessed #9 Maryland’s high-powered offense held scoreless for 90 minutes. VCU took home a massive NCAA resume result with a 3-0 win at Maryland. The Rams improved to 9-4 overall.
VCU Men’s Soccer returns home for Senior Night on Saturday, October 28th versus Rhode Island. Kick-off will begin at 7 PM at Sports Backers Stadium.