VCU Men’s Soccer opened the 2019 season in their home opener against East Tennesse State. The match was a physical one featuring plenty of battles on and off the ball and the debut of a Black & Gold Maverick going rogue.
The Rams and Bucs collided in a physical clash of will in the first half. VCU’s Jared Greene had a short night just 3 minutes into the match with a shoulder injury after a tackling collision on the run towards the box.
ETSU held possession early with promising crosses into VCU’s box that was blocked by the Rams’ backline. As the match continued, fouls stacked up for both teams with 7 apiece and 3 yellow cards shown (ETSU: 2, VCU: 1)
VCU nearly broke through with six consecutive corner kick attempts between the 22nd and 25th minute. The Bucs were finally cleared of danger with an offside call on VCU. Maverick McGann went rogue on a breakaway towards goal as the VCU freshman from Washington DC used his footwork to get away from ETSU.
McGann had a 1v1 opportunity against the goalkeeper and slotted the ball low in for his first collegiate goal in the 43rd minute. Cheers roared from the stands with the Black & Gold took a 1-0 lead back into the locker room at halftime. VCU had 10 corner kicks and 8 shots in the half.
The offense went in the visitors’ favor with chances that nearly resulted in an ETSU equalizer. Mario Sequeira remained solid in goal recording 2 saves. The captain had help from the backline constantly blocking ETSU’s shot attempts repeatedly.
Myles Brown and Biska Biyombo laced kicks that rocked the post for the Black & Gold on the opposite end. The Bucs amped up the physicality in search of that equalizer with the Rams flexing their defensive prowess. Philip Hildebrandt launched a 30-yard kick from distance that bounced off the crossbar on ETSU’s final attempt in the 88th minute.
A 1-0 victory for VCU to open the 2019 season in the win column. This is the Black & Gold’s first victory in a season opener since 2014. VCU returns to Sports Backers on Labor Day to face Long Island University. That match will kick-off on Monday, September 2nd at 7 PM and broadcasted on ESPN+.