The VCU Lady Rams soccer season came to a close this past week, after falling to the University of Fordham in the Atlantic 10 Championship Quarterfinals. After a slow start to the season, the Rams were able to find a groove as the year progressed, making for another solid year, with their conference win total marking the highest it’s been since the arrival of head coach Lindsey Vanderspiegel.
The Rams took the field against Fordham, in what was a hard fought game on both ends. The Rams controlled the game early, having possession for much of the start of the first half. Freshmen Kelly Graves and Julia Suarez both got two shot attempts within the first 10 minutes that went awry.
Shortly following Suarez’s attempt, Fordham’s Brooke Salmon got loose in the box for one of the few good looks of the game and put the ball in the back of the net to give Fordham a 1-0 lead. Senior midfielder Sharon Wojcik, came close to tying the game before the half, but her shot hit the crossbar.
The second half was a defensive battle, with neither team being able to find openings to put a point on the board. VCU was successful in consistently moving the ball into Fordham territory, but were unable to get the ball to the back of the net. Fordham came close to making the advantage 2-0, but Emma Kruse recorded one of her two saves of the game, leaving the door open for a comeback opportunity.
The game ended 1-0. VCU fought hard throughout but Fordham’s defense, who had only allowed two goals in the past four games, turned out to be too much for the Lady Rams.
With the season ending, the Rams competed well in the A-10 and ended up coming together as a team. After losing six of their first seven games, conference play turned the season around with a five game winning streak and taking six of their nine matches in October.
The team’s most impressive victory came in late September, with a 6-0 win against Mount Saint Mary’s University.
Senior Gabby Dyer’s career at VCU is over, but she said she feels that the memories will stay with the graduating senior class forever.
“I’m thankful for the community and the platform as a student athlete, and all of the opportunities that we have had here a VCU,” Dyer said.
With another year coming to a close, VCU looks toward the future of the team, which will have new on field leadership as graduating senior Sharon Wojcik moves on.
“I’m going to miss playing under the lights at Sports Backers,” Wojcik said. “Nothing for me will beat that level of energy, vibe and spirit that comes from playing in front of the amazing home crowd. I will miss it.”