Ugly conditions Wednesday night at Sports Backers masked a disappointing season finale at home for VCU. William & Mary found the net twice in a 2-0 defeat that left those in attendance and the players on the field scratching their heads.
VCU nearly lit up the scoreboard with a goal as Dakota Barnathan got into the W&M box on the right side and unleashed a bouncing strike under goalkeeper Mac Phillips. Jorge Herranz looked to tap it into the goal but Phillips was able to recover and dive in front of Herranz to make the last ditch save for the Tribe.
William & Mary felt the pressure from the Black & Gold defensively as VCU controlled possession and set the pace early into the match. Coming out of the gates defensive minded, William & Mary looked for opportunities in the midfield to get something going.
The Tribe were able to counter VCU’s pressure thanks to the Eskay brothers. William Eskay found his brother Jackson Eskay inside the VCU box for a 1-2 pass that freed William for a strike and the goal to put W&M up 0-1.
From there the Rams were shell shocked and it affected their gameplay. Bad passing, silly errors, nothing looked well for VCU as the match went on. VCU were able to hit the reset button later in the half and finally were able to get some promising attacks on the W&M net.
Herranz got a 1v1 opportunity in the 25’ minute against Phillips. Herranz was able to get a chip over Phillips but Ryan Perry sprinted after it and was able to clear it away inches from the goalline to deny VCU a gifted equalizer.
More of the same was on display in the 2nd half as VCU just could not get anything going offensively. Cody Sweatte tried to ignite the Rams but nothing but a handful of strikes that either went to wide or just high.
Ryder Bell doubled the Tribe’s lead off of a contested cross from Marcel Berry that made way to Bell in front of the goal. Left unmarked, Bell headed in his 7th goal of the season for the W&M in the 77th minute. The final whistle blew and the Tribe headed back up I-64 with the victory over the Rams.
VCU wraps up their season on the road in an A-10 matchup vs. conference leader Dayton in a must-win scenario for the Rams and their A-10 tournament hopes. The match is set for Saturday, November 7th at 7 PM.
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