A heady victory for VCU came after 100 minutes of scoreless play at Sports Backers. The double OT 1-0 finish re-energized the Rams as they celebrated near the goal, while the defeated Explorers trudged off the field.
It was a long and arduous battle between VCU and La Salle as the teams remained at a 0-0 draw for all of regulation. The Rams attacked early with Ingrid Brouwer and Megan Dell both getting off shots in the 2nd minute. Larisa Zambelli came up with back to back saves to dash the hopes of an early lead for the home team. The next 3 shots came from La Salle (Danielle Marx with 2 attempts and Maci Bower with 1) but with Audrey Sanderson in goal for VCU the ball would not find it’s way to the back of the net. Amanda Hallesjo made 2 attempts for VCU but came up short with the first blocked and a header going wide. Alyssa Talent tested Zambelli 1 more time, but the Explorers came up with a final save before the half. Both teams ended with clean sheets and it was a 0-0 draw to head into halftime.
The Explorers took charge after the break and aggressively pressed the Ram defense. VCU sent in Ryan Jones to tend goal and the teams picked up right where they left off. The Rams struck first with Megan Dell and Kelly Graves both taking aim at the La Salle net. The Explorers came up with a team save on the first and Graves attempt was thwarted by Zambelli. Down at the Rams’ defensive end Jones came up with her first save when Kristin Haugstad took aim and was denied. La Salle continued to push for a goal with Taylor Newhart and Marykate Bateman both testing Jones who came up with an additional 3 saves against the Explorers. Julia Suarez was the next with a good opportunity to end the draught, but Zambelli came up with yet another save. Suarez took another shot before the end of regulation but Zambelli was ready and once again both teams came up with clean sheets. At the end of regulation both teams had tallied 7 saves for a 0-0 draw to send the game to overtime.
In the first OT the Explorers took advantage of multiple opportunities. Their closest chance resulted in a team save from Brittany Beckwith. Again neither team was able to find the back of the net and sat at 100 minutes of scoreless soccer.
It didn’t take long for the Rams to seal the deal in the final OT. In under a minute a corner kick from Rachel Hardy was finished by a header from Amanda Tredway and the victorious Rams flooded the field to celebrate their win.
A few days of rest for the Rams before VCU returns to Sports Backers Thursday, October 20th, to take on George Mason at 7pm.
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