Women’s Soccer (2-1) defeated the High Point University Panthers 3-1 in convincing fashion Friday night at Sports Backers Stadium, as the Rams outshot the Panthers by a wide margin, 29-6.
The Black and Gold scored all three goals on headers to earn their second win of the season.
The shot total from the game was higher than VCU’s first two games’ combined. The Rams had five games last season of 25 shots or more.
VCU shot early and often, amassing three shots in the first ten minutes of the match. Sophomore forward CiCi Fox had an early penalty kick in the fifth minute that was saved by Panthers goalkeeper Emily Lyon.
Sophomore midfielder Samantha Jerabek kicked off the scoring for the Rams as her head connected for a goal on junior defender Susanna Friedrichs’ cross in the seventh minute.
“It’s amazing because I’m not a real good header and I’m really short, so it felt amazing (to score on a header),” Jerabeck said.
The Panthers did not take a shot until the 15th minute of the match when VCU had already taken four shots, two of them on goal.
High Point evened the match at one apiece when Skyler Prillaman beat VCU senior goalkeeper Audrey Sanderson in a one-on-one. Prillaman’s goal marked the only Panther shot that was on-target of the six attempted.
VCU kept the intensity up during the latter stages of the first half as senior defender Stephanie Stahl scored on a header off a cross by freshman defender Amber DiOrio. Stahl placed the ball on the far post, out of Lyon’s reach.
The Rams held a 2-1 lead at halftime, outshooting the Panthers 13-4.
VCU added an insurance goal in the second half off the head of Jerabek for her second goal of the night. Jerabek recorded her first two goals of the 2018 season Friday night after logging one last season.
“Sam was very good today,” said VCU head coach Lindsey Martin of Jerabek’s performance. “She was explosive, she was an attacking presence from moment one and for her to score two goals with her head is unusual for her, but I love the trend.”
VCU took 29 shots, but only eight were on goal.
“We just need to keep (shots) on target and keep shooting,” Jerabek said.
VCU went 2-1 during the three-game homestand to open the season, defeating the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and High Point. The Rams will hit the road for a three-game trip starting Aug. 31 against the University of Northern Iowa.
“I think we have good confidence now coming off of a two-game win streak,” Martin said after the Rams’ second win of the 2018 campaign. “We are playing our style and that’s what we couldn’t say after the first game. We didn’t look like ourselves, these past two games we’ve looked more like ourselves.”
Noah Fleischman Contributing Writer