It was a long weekend for the VCU Rams women’s soccer team. After holding off the Spiders in a 0-0 double overtime tie on Friday evening the Rams returned Sunday afternoon to tame the Davidson Wildcats. It was the second game of the weekend for both teams but VCU had an additional 20 minutes of play against their last opponent. It could have slowed them down, but the Rams demonstrated incredible mental toughness on the pitch fighting for possessions and moving the ball up field. Once again they proved that they are playing with an eye on the prize – the A-10 championship.
The game winning goal came from Maren Johansen in the first half. Johansen is the Rams leading scorer and this is her 8th goal of the season. VCU would attempt 15 goals with 3 on goal and close on 1. Another stellar performance from VCU’s defenders and goal keeper Emma Kruse brings her to a total of 4 clean sheets in conference play and 8 on the season. Kruse had a tremendous save in the first half while the sun was sinking just behind the stadium that could have easily resulted in a goal for the Wildcats.
Sunday games are always tough according to Coach Lindsey Vanderspiegel, especially following the double OT from Friday. “We’re really pleased with the effort, the intensity, and enthusiasm they were able to bring again 48 hours later…Davidson’s a good team and they are physical so that we were able to match the physicality was important today.” When it comes to league play and contending for the championship she added “Each of the games are so important…same as last year teams are fighting for spots so we know that each of these points matter.”
Maren Johansen is having an impressive season, but she’s very modest. When asked how it felt to hit the back of the net following the drought of Friday’s game she smiled and said “It was awesome. It’s always great to score goals.” This was a very physical match and while early in conference, it’s been an intense season. Johansen added “This is the time of year we start to feel the fatigue.” There’s still work to do and in order to make it into the championship she says, “We’ve got to take one game at a time. Can’t be super happy and just think that this is enough. Got to take every single game as a championship game and that’s how we’re planning on winning.”
The Rams play their final home game on October 25th against George Washington.
Click below for fullscreen images