Senior day spoiled: Controversial call leads to final home-game defeat

By: Amir Vera
Staff Writer

Sunday’s game against Drexel started out as any senior day game should: honoring the lone senior center back Myriam Bouchard, playing the Canadian National Anthem with respect to her, and taking pictures ending the ceremony. However, the day did not end as planned.

In an intense game that began with a slow first half and picked up with an explosive second half, the Lady Rams would suffer a devastating loss to the Dragons 4-3 in double overtime.

Many, including head coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak, believe the loss came down to a very debatable call in which Bouchard was defending a Drexel player, dived in front of her to stop the forward progress, and was called for a foul. As a result of the call, Drexel defensive back Katie Duncan was able to score on a penalty kick

“She [Bouchard] played hard. In my opinion it was not a foul, and I feel as though it was a controversial penalty kick,” Roberts Sahaydak said. “It is unfortunate because Myriam did everything she needed to do as a center back, and she should not have been penalized for that.”

Along with the coach and fans, Bouchard’s fellow players also feel remorse for the call, but they accept the call being made.

“They did not deserve that PK,” freshmen forward Bex Kunz said. “She dove, there was not a foul in the box, but there is nothing you can do about that, the game was not exactly the greatest.”

Though players and coaches alike were not ecstatic about the game’s conclusion on senior day, they still look back on Bouchard’s role with the program with a positive outlook. According to Kunz, Bouchard was a great leader and role model who had heart and worked hard. She leaves VCU with a lasting impression of being, according to Roberts Sahaydak, a “warrior” on the field and being a leader by example.

“[I am going to miss] her competitive fire. It does not matter if we are playing in a game or if we are at training, she is always trying to be her best and she is always trying to compete,” Roberts Sahaydak said.

Beyond the loss at the end, however, Sunday’s game was very intense. After ending the first half down 1-0, the Lady Rams came back with a fiery passion in the second half. They scored three goals in a matter of 45 minutes, two of which were scored by junior midfielder Azania.

She was able to execute her first goal on a turnover in the keeper’s box, as she received a short pass from freshmen forward Jordyn Rolling. Her second was an exciting header into the goal with the assists from Kunz and sophomore defensive back Carly Edgcomb.

Drexel was able to answer back to each of these goals within minutes. Roberts Sahaydak knew the game would be going into overtime, so she did not rush her players into trying to score in the last few minutes of the game. With this mindset, Roberts Sahaydak was able to go into overtime with confidence.

“I felt good, I feel like we were getting after them and we were attacking,” Roberts Sahaydak said. “I felt like our players were really confident. I heard them say ‘loosing was not an option,’ so they were going to play that way.”

As a result of the game going into overtime, the Lady Rams took chances they were willing to take in order to win. They changed their formation from a 4-3-3 to a 3-4-3 in the last ten minute overtime. According to Roberts Sahaydak, these risks were necessary in order for a win to be possible.

“We played very risky towards the end of the second overtime, but we were not playing to tie, we wanted to win, so we were okay with taking risks,” Roberts Sahaydak said.

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