In an aggressive preseason showing the VCU Rams were tested early and often on their defense. The NC State Wolfpack maintained offensive control during the first half of the exhibition taking 6 shots (5 on goal) while the Rams had 3 opportunities (1 on goal) before half time. VCU returning GK Garrett Cyprus would have 3 saves before #10 Zach Knudson put the Wolfpack on the board with a goal in the 29th minute and 1 more before the buzzer.
Coach Dave Giffard made several player substitutions throughout and it was Rams in rotation as players got the opportunity to take the field in preparation for the season opener against #25 Akron later this week. While NC State kept the offensive intensity high, VCU began moving the ball around more and making some progress offensively.
In the second half the Rams went on the offensive attack early looking for an opportunity for an equalizer shot. Sophomore GK Pierre Gardan took a turn in the net and added his first save and the Rams 5th on the game. VCU was successful in accomplishing 2 things in the second half of play. They controlled the ball offensively more and they significantly reduced the opportunities of their opponent.
The Rams were able to take an additional 3 shots (2 on goal) during the final half of the match and they were able to hold the Wolfpack to just 2 (1 on goal) during that time. While they weren’t able to tie the match they were able to effectively impact the other team’s offense.
One thing the Rams will have to watch in the upcoming season is their fouls. VCU had 14 to NC State’s 4 and Ram Jorge Herranz picked up a yellow card during the exhibition. A lot of speed and energy that will need to be honed during the season as the Rams find their groove and take their place in the Atlantic 10 standings.
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