The 2018-19 season of VCU Women’s Soccer stumbled on some rough patches in their opening match against UNCW at Sports Backers Stadium. A humid pitch on a Friday evening did not stop the Rams from striking, however, the Seahawks soared too far ahead in hopes of a comeback.
UNCW controlled possession as the contest got underway. The first three strikes of the match were made by the visitors and Audrey Sanderson collected three consecutive saves for VCU. Around the 10’ minute, Kimberly Ito registered the Rams’ first shot of the match that sailed wide of the net. A pair of corner kicks were on the horizon for the Rams but still no goal as a reward.
20 minutes went past until the scoreboard lit up with the opening goal of the match. On a UNCW corner kick, Lauren Ellis connected on a strike to force a save from Sanderson. Ashley Johnson pounced on the rebound and sent the ball into the back of the net for the Seahawks.
Trying To Find That Working Formula…
Trailing 0-1, VCU hit a snag and only produced one more strike before halftime by Ingrid Brouwer. VCU had difficulty moving the ball in the final third and UNCW kept the Rams at bay until the 1st half concluded.
Things started to come alive for the Black & Gold near the 50’ minute. Samantha Jerabek sent in two consecutive corner kicks that nearly found their targets. CiCi Fox connected on a header that was blocked by UNCW in the 60’ minute. 5 minutes later Alyssa Tallent and Kimberly Ito unleashed two promising strikes that UNCW’s defense made answers for.
Kirsten Bootes doubled UNCW’s lead on a corner kick for the visitors. As the corner kick in the 67’ minute started dropping in VCU’s box, Sanderson attempted to punch the danger clear but was unsuccessful. Bootes was in the right place at the right time to tap in the uncontested goal at the back post.
70 minutes had passed at Sports Backers before Idelys Vazquez gave what VCU and the Ram fans were searching for. Vasquez made her move to get behind UNCW’s defensive line and into the penalty box. Sydney Schneider rushed her and Vasquez successfully sent the strike rolling under the UNCW keeper for her first collegiate goal.
This moment of Black & Gold bliss was quickly vanquished as Morgan Nanni scored UNCW’s 3rd goal. Just 30 seconds after VCU got their lone goal, Baley Edwards sent an assist to Nanni in the box and she finished the job.
VCU was now trailing 1-3 with just under 20 minutes to go in the match. Fox, Ito, and Vazquez sent strike after strike towards the goal but none were able to find the back of the net. Even with a 12-10 strike advantage on the night with 9 corner kicks, VCU fell to UNCW 1-3 in their season opener.
Coming Up Next
The Rams return to Sports Backers Stadium on Sunday, August 19th as VCU Women’s Soccer takes on Charlotte. Kick-off will begin at 2 PM.