Women’s soccer clinches A-10 tournament berth

Women’s soccer closed out their regular season with a .500 record in their final week, beating the University of Rhode Island Rams 2-1 on Thursday night and falling to the La Salle University Explorers on Sunday by a score of 1-0.

Concluding the regular season with a 9-5-3 record, VCU ended an excellent season that contained two three-game winning streaks. The Rams are headed to the Atlantic 10 Tournament after finishing the season tied with Saint Joseph’s University for seventh place at 17 points.

La Salle

The final match of the regular season pitted the Black and Gold against the La Salle Explorers, resulting in a tense 1-0 loss for the Rams.

The VCU offense was unable to notch a goal throughout the course of the game, but on the other end of the field, junior goalkeeper Audrey Sanderson tallied seven saves on the afternoon. Sanderson finished third in the conference, with a 0.72 goal against average percentage.

The score goes against the run of play, as the Rams managed to outshoot the Explorers by a margin of 15-12, as well as lead in corner kicks 4-2.

Senior defender Megan Dell led the attack on the afternoon with four shots. The 54th minute proved to be the Rams’ undoing, as La Salle scored the eventual deciding goal.

Sophomore defender Amanda Tredway had one more shot opportunity with just 15 seconds remaining, but the shot went wide left.

Rhode Island

The Black and Gold emerged triumphant in their final home game of the season, ousting the Rhode Island University Rams in two overtimes for a thrilling 2-1 victory.

Malancone opened the scoring with her first goal of the season and her VCU career in the 42nd minute.

Gutzmer scored her third goal of the season with the game-winner in the second overtime, becoming the second Ram this season with multiple game-winning goals.

Over the 102 minutes of the game, the Black and Gold held Rhode Island to zero corner kicks and rendered the opposing Rams without a shot in the overtime periods.

Outshooting Rhode Island 27-5, the Black and Gold also outshot the other Rams 15-1 on goal.

Sanderson faced and turned away only the one shot thanks to the VCU defense, who kept the ball at the Rhode Island end of the field for most of the game.

Junior forward Julia Suarez closed out the regular season as the points leader for the team, ending with 11 total, including four goals, as well as three assists. As the sixth seed in the Atlantic 10 Tournament, VCU will play in the opening round next weekend. The Black and Gold will be hosted by third seed George Mason next Sunday, with the starting time set at 1 p.m. Win or lose, Sports Backers will host the final rounds of the A-10 tournament — semifinals are set for Friday, Nov. 3 at 2 and 4 p.m. with the championship match slated for Sunday, Nov. 5 at noon.

Adam Cheek

Contributing Writer

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