Women’s soccer wins A-10 opener, stretches unbeaten streak to six

Alonzo Small
Contributing Writer

With a 1-0 victory against Massachussetts this past Saturday, the VCU women’s soccer team opened its Atlantic 10 schedule on a positive note and stretched its unbeaten streak to six games.

The Lady Rams are now 6-4-1 on the season.

VCU has outscored its last six opponents 15-3, while allowing just two goals in the last 526 minutes of play.

After defeating George Mason 5-1 in Fairfax on Sept. 20, VCU hosted Elon on Sept. 22 at Sports Backers Stadium, riding a four-game winning streak. Sophomore Sharon Wojcik threatened the goal in the 26th minute with a look that was saved by Elon goalkeeper Kate Murphy, the first of her 10 saves made in the game.

Sophomore Kailyn Slade looked to assist Johansen in the 33rd minute, but Johansen’s shot went wide right. Minutes later, Johansen kicked back her own rebound to put the Rams up by a score of 1-0.

Goalkeeper Emma Kruse kept VCU’s lead strong throughout, until the 80th minute when VCU was called for a handball in the box, setting up a penalty kick for Simi Dhaliwal. The senior midfielder netted the equalizer and pulled the teams even at 1-1 with 10 minutes left to play. Neither team could net a game-winner though, and after two overtimes, the match was called a draw.

The Rams held a 25-10 advantage in shots, including a 12-3 margin in shots on goal against the Phoenix. The Rams held a 7-5 edge in corner kicks over Elon. Wojcik accounted for a game high seven shots, three on goal for the Rams. Moik followed with five. Courtney Conrad and Johansen finished with four shots apiece.

VCU traveled to Massachusetts on Saturday to take on the Minutewomen, who came into the match as winners of three straight.

Fortunately for the Rams, that streak stopped in the 106th minute, when sophomore Kaitlyn Slade netted the only goal of the game to conclude the overtime thriller and secure VCU’s first conference victory of the year.

The A-10 recognized Johansen for an impressive stretch of play in mid-September, naming her the conference player of the week on both Sept. 16 and Sept. 23. During this stretch, Johansen scored two goals and an assist. The Rams went 1-0-1.

The 5-foot-6 forward has started all 10 games this season and has accounted for four goals, three assists and 21 shots.

For Johansen, that’s a new season high in goals, improving upon her previous high of three. She is one point shy of matching her total for all of last year (12), and is tied for the team lead in assists alongside Wojcik and Conrad.

Now, the Rams look to continue their success against A-10 competition with matches against Fordham on Oct. 11 and La Salle on Oct. 13.

 

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