Iowa City, Iowa was the location of VCU Women’s Soccer’s first road test of the 2018-19 season. The Rams took on Northern Iowa in the Hawkeye State where the Panthers had a tall task of defending the Black & Gold attack.
Attacking Out The Gates!
VCU only needed 26 seconds after the opening to kick-off to register a strike from Alyssa Tallent. After that moment, UNI’s goalkeeper Jami Reichenberger clocked in for a busy 1st half stint in goal. Multiple chances were unleashed by Cici Fox and Samantha Jerabek that forced Reichenberger to come up with challenging saves.
Possession was in full control of the Rams in the 1st half. The Rams administered pressure on the ball and quickly moved the ball upfield towards promising attacks near UNI’s penalty box. Ingrid Brouwer nearly connected her first strike that sailed barely over the crossbar. Northern Iowa’s first strike of the match came in the 18th minute from Jamie Althiser that sailed well wide.
UNI Defending For Their Lives
Lana Golob was shown a yellow card in the 32nd minute after a physical VCU foul. UNI took another strike towards Audrey Sanderson in goal moments later but the ball once again spun wide of the target. There were 10 total strikes by VCU taken and 6 of them were on target. Reichenberger was able to escape the half with 6 saves and kept the score even at 0-0.
The match was more evenly matched at the 2nd half’s early stages. Both teams squared up and traded possession in midfield. Susanna Friedrichs broke through for VCU with a strike that Reichenberger saved yet again in the 51st minute.
Graves For 2️⃣!!! IT’S GOOD!!!
Kelly Graves gave the visitors a breakthrough in the 57th minute. Karen Lohrmann sent the ball towards CiCi Fox on the VCU attack towards the net. Fox was able to deliver a header towards Graves far post as she finished the job for her first goal of the season.
Graves was back in action on the scoreboard just minutes later. After Northern Iowa made a pair of substitutions, VCU collected the ball and went on the attack. Graves was a one-woman showcase getting by Northern Iowa’s defense unassisted and struck in her 2nd goal past Reichenberger. The VCU Senior celebrated her double down against the Panthers with her teammates in the 64th minute.
No Spoilers For The Home Team
Northern Iowa nearly pulled a fast one in the 68th minute on a strike that Sanderson had to dive for successfully. VCU retook control of the match thanks to more strikes by Tallent, Jerabek, and Graves. Jerabek saw VCU’s second yellow card in the 72nd minute after a mistimed tackle.
Sanderson did her job well as VCU’s goalkeeper in the final moments. Kelsey Yarrow was denied by Sanderson in the 87th minute followed by Johnnie Hill a minute later. The redshirt senior had 5 saves on the night against Northern Iowa. Their first road match of the season was a success for the Rams scoring a 2-0 victory over Northern Iowa. VCU had 18 total strikes with 13 on target.
Next up for VCU Women’s Soccer is Iowa in Iowa City on Sunday, September 2nd. Kick-off will begin at 1:30 PM in the Hawkeye Invitational.