Women’s soccer drops two of three in season opener’s

Freshman phenom Kelly Graves, center, wins the header over College of Charleston defenders photos by becca schwartz

Sophia Belletti
Staff Writer

Freshman phenom Kelly Graves, center, wins the header over College of Charleston defenders  photos by becca schwartz
Freshman phenom Kelly Graves, center, wins the header over College of Charleston defenders. Photos by Becca Schwartz

VCU’s women’s soccer team played another close match Aug. 28. The College of Charleston traveled to SportsBackers Stadium and defeated the Rams 1-0 in overtime.

Both teams played an aggressive game, battling back and forth for possesion. VCU’s first scoring opportunity came from freshman forward Kelly Graves in the 20th minute. Also a freshman on the frontline, Julia Suarez, made a long pass to Graves for a header, but Graves’ shot was too high.

Both teams entered the half taking 8 shots but not being able to find the back of the net, keeping the score at 0-0.

VCU began the second half with a persistent offensive approach. Three shots were taken in the first six minutes of the second half, but all were denied.   

Desperate for a tiebreaking goal, freshman midfielder Margaret Boelman pressured the Cougar defense late in the game, but her shot was turned away, sending the game into overtime.

Only a minute into overtime, Charleston’s freshman forward Jessica Schifer got loose in Ram territory and released a shot into the bottom left of the net, past a diving senior goalkeeper Kruse for the 1-0 win.

Charleston outshot VCU 19-17, leaving Kruse to record 10 saves on Friday.

“We must do a better job of finishing our chances,” said head coach Lindsey Martin. “Some of our players are playing well and carrying the load for the team. We need to have others step up around them and provide some answers.”

The first loss of the season came on Aug. 23. Head coach Lindsey Martin and the Rams hosted Marshall University at SportsBackers Stadium at 1 p.m.

The game kicked off with VCU handling the opening possession. In the 10th minute, VCU’s greatest scoring opportunity arose when Suarez launched a pass into the box to senior midfielder Sharon Wojcik, but her shot went above the goal post.

Despite Kruse making a diving save a minute before, Marshall was able to get on the board. Senior forward Erin Simmons sent a long pass across the box, received by freshman forward Ashley Seltzer, who found the back of the net with a jumping header into the right side of the goal. Seltzer’s first goal in a Herd uniform gave Marshall a 1-0 lead.

Just before the half, freshman defender Stephanie Stahl was sent to the box for a scoring opportunity for a VCU corner kick. Suarez launched a corner to Stahl for a header, but the shot was deflected wide.

Both teams took 15 shots during the match and Kruse recorded eight saves. The second half ended scoreless for both teams and VCU suffered its first loss of the season, losing 1-0.

“We weren’t really working together in front,” Suarez said. “But if we just connected more and been calmer in front of the goal, we could have put something away.”

VCU’s first game of the season was a success, as the Lady Rams defeated Old Dominion University 4-2 at SportsBackers Stadium on Friday, Aug. 21.

The team’s next match is against James Madison University on Sunday, Aug. 30.

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