Marcus Blackwell, Staff Writer
Men’s soccer continued its winning streak, with a win against the University of Davidson on Oct. 10 and a tie against La Salle University Oct. 14.
VCU took the field against La Salle in what ended up being a tough, hard-fought stalemate. La Salle came out aggressive when Joe Farrell had a good chance on goal, but it was saved by sophomore goalkeeper Pierre Garden, giving him his first save.
The Rams’ had their first shot attempt came in the 18th minute, from freshman Cody Sweatte where he missed wide. Both team’s defenses were on display throughout the rest of the first half, with neither team advancing on the scoreboard.
The second half was much of the same as both teams continued to miss opportunities. Junior Dakota Barnathan was able to slide through the defense in the 15th minute but also missed just left.
The game went into overtime on both teams continuing to struggle to score. Junior Jorge Herranz got a decent look at the beginning of the second overtime, but was stopped by La Salle’s defense. The game came to a close with a draw.
Last Saturday, the Rams took on Davidson in an effort to increase their win column.
The game got off to a quick start, with both teams firing multiple shot attempts early. Within the first 16 minutes, the Rams had two good scoring opportunities from senior defender Jack Bates and sophomore forward Ivan Sakou that both missed just wide. VCU continued to bring the pressure, and moments later, junior midfielder Jorge Herranz maneuvered through the defense and got a good look but again missed.
As the first half came to a close, neither team was able to successfully get the ball in the back of the net. Davidson came close to gaining the first lead of the game in the 32nd minute, when they were granted a free kick opportunity. It was close, but Gardan came up big for the Rams getting the stop, keeping it deadlocked at 0-0 going into the half.
The second half remained a defensive battle, with both teams stifling the other, leaving fans to wonder if any team would be able to score. In the 60th minute, senior Dennis Castillo was able to score off of a free kick just outside the box. For Castillo and the Rams, the goal could not have come at a better time.
“We stayed patient throughout the whole game, until we got the goal was able to give us a little rest,” Castillo said. “Things got a little hectic at the end, but this is what it’s all about. I’m happy the guys got this experience.”
After the goal, Davidson continued to fight but the Rams defense played well throughout not allowing the Wildcats to get on the scoreboard.
VCU was able to hang on and gain their second straight victory, much to the excitement to the home fans.
Head Coach Dave Giffard was happy with the victory, but continues to look forward and is excited about what the team will do in the future.
“The guys keep fighting and they keep battling,” said Giffard. “A lot of that has to do with the leadership from guys like Castillo who understand what it’s about and what it takes moving forward.”