A big night for Tori Burress, Carson Cyphers, Dallas Smith and Natalie Robles as they celebrated Senior Night alongside their VCU teammates taking on George Mason at Sports Backers. The Patriots turned what was supposed to be a joyful occasion for the Rams into a dreadful nightmare Thursday night.
VCU started out using their speed. Looking to push the pace while controlling possession, the Rams were dialed into their gameplan. George Mason was in no rush attacking the ball and the Patriots kept organized defensively limiting chances for VCU.
George Mason flourished on offense and quickly scored the opening goal in the 16’ minute. Kaila Williams sent the George Mason corner kick towards the goal. VCU goalkeeper Ryan Jones attempted to grab the ball near the goal line. Jones fumbled the ball as it deflected off her gloves and into the goal giving George Mason a 1-0 lead.
A distraught VCU team now had to deal with a vicious George Mason offense a goal down. The Patriots had their way with the Rams on offense getting past them with their passing, speed and ball pressure. VCU looked for ways to slow the Patriots down but to no avail.
In the 32’ minute, George Mason’s Nia Elbeck was able to toe-poke a ball near the end line just before Jones picked it up. This traveled to a wide open Erin Mitchell in front of the goal and she finished her sixth goal of the season to double the Patriots lead 2-0.
The second half was a display of VCUs heart, despite trailing two goals they were not giving up. Kelly Graves was in playmaker role attempting to create chances while Julia Suarez sent promising crosses from outside the penalty area.
Tori Burress had her Senior Moment in the 63’ minute. Suarez curled a cross from the right side of the pitch that found Burress who finished it off with a header. That sparked hope for VCU and sent the Rams into an emotional frenzy. Down but not out and finally scoring a goal, VCU searched for more.
While searching for a second goal, George Mason put the match to rest with a fourth. In the 88’ minute, Mitchell collected her second goal of the night after getting by VCU’s defense with her dribbling and unleashing a shot past Jones. This allowed Mason to collect all three points.
It was a catastrophe on the pitch for the Black & Gold for Senior Night as VCU fell to George Mason 4-1. This victory strengthens the Patriots chances of locking up a spot in the Atlantic 10 Women’s Soccer postseason tournament, but it also leaves VCU just above the line fighting for one of the few spots remaining.
VCU hits the road for two A-10 matches beginning with Massachusetts on Sunday, October 23rd. Kick-Off is set for a 1 PM start.
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