Redshirt-junior midfielders Luc Fatton and Greg Boehme each tallied goals for the Rams; Boehme netting his first of the season and Fatton securing his position as leading scorer on the squad with seven so far.
VCU only had two corner kick chances in contrast to Davidson’s nine, but VCU’s sure-handed junior goalkeeper Pierre Gardan stonewalled all but one shot by the Wildcats.
The Rams’ offense attacked early, with two scoring opportunities for senior forward Jorge Herranz, including one where Davidson goalkeeper Andrew Kenneson was barely able to poke Herranz’s effort wide.
Boehme broke free less than 15 minutes into the first half and fired a shot finding its way into the goal, giving VCU a 1-0 lead.
Junior midfielder Rafael Andrade Santos and senior midfielder Brandon Eaton both tested Davidson’s goalkeeper but sent shots wide of the goal in the first half. VCU managed to stay on top going into halftime.
After numerous chances for the Rams to extend their lead early in the second half, redshirt-sophomore midfielder Eli Lockaby made a crisp pass in the 75th minute to Luc Fatton. Fatton easily evaded defenders and scored, stretching the Rams’ lead to two goals.
Lockaby recorded his fourth assist of the season, tied for second on the team in assists.
Davidson ended the shutout bid in the 83rd minute when the Wildcats’ leading scorer Maxi Pragnell netted his eighth goal on the season. The Wildcats attempted a rally near the end of the match, with two shot opportunities and a chance at a corner kick but could not execute. The Black and Gold sealed a 2-1 victory, winning their fourth conference match.
William and Mary
On Wednesday, the Rams visited Williamsburg to take on non-conference rival William and Mary. The Tribe routed the Black and Gold in a 4-0 shutout. VCU dropped to 5-8-3, while William and Mary improved to 9-6-2.
The Tribe scored quickly and seized momentum after notching two goals in the first five minutes. They tacked on two more later in the match to extend their lead and secure the win.
“It was a very good game for us. Against a good opponent we were able to give guys who have been playing a lot the night off and get everyone significant minutes who hasn’t played much or at all this year,” said coach Dave Giffard.
The Rams got off to a slow start in the opening half and only mustered one shot, but rallied in the second to add seven shots.
Three total shots on goal were racked up by the Rams, but none came to fruition. Six corner opportunities were tallied by each squad, and the Tribe led with 14 overall shots, nine of which were on target.
William and Mary charged out of the gate to start the game, with Jeff Bombelles sneaking the ball past Gardan 18 seconds into the game for his first goal of the season, assisted by William Eskay.
Ryder Bell did not help VCU’s cause, as he added to the Tribe’s lead with a header into the net. Bell’s goal came only four minutes after Bombelles’.
William and Marys’ two-goal advantage was nearly split in half about 20 minutes in, with senior forward Simond Kargbo’s shot ricocheting off of the crossbar and bounced out of scoring range.
As the opening half concluded, Reeves Trott scored to complete a trio of goals for William and Mary in the opening period. Trott slid past a VCU defender and placed the ball in the lower right corner of the net.
VCU’s offense came alive at the outset of the second half by holding possession, snapping out of their slump in the first half and putting offensive pressure on the Tribe.
Corner opportunities and shots arose, shots mostly from redshirt-sophomore midfielder Joseph Gonnella and backline freshman Ryo Shimazaki. Eaton lead the way with three total shots on the night.
The Rams and Tribe held each other in check throughout the second half as the pace of the match stagnated and a scrum for possession around midfield ensued. Julian Ngoh scored on a through-ball from the outside the 18, tallying William and Mary’s fourth and final goal.
“Tonight, I thought some guys really helped us and showed that in a tough game against a quality opponent, they are ready to help us,” Giffard said. “At the same time, for the guys who aren’t ready, it’s good for them to see what needs to be done on their end to be able to contribute to the team on game day. It’s key for us in the final stretch to know who those guys are.”
The Rams will play their final match of the season on Saturday, Nov. 5 when they host Dayton University at 1 p.m.
Adam Cheek, Contributing writer