Women’s Soccer won both of their games this past weekend against two Atlantic 10 foes — VCU took down St. Bonaventure University 3-0 Sept. 20 and George Mxason University 3-1 Sept. 23. Sophomore midfielder Samantha Jerabeck led the way with four combined goals.
“Sammy’s been awesome for us this season,” VCU head coach Lindsey Martin said of Jerabeck. “Last year she played outside back for us and did a really good job. We always knew she had an attacking mentality, [but] we needed her back there. To see her get to play up top and now get on the stat sheet as much as she’s been, it’s a really good thing to see.”
George Mason University
Rain lingered over Sports Backers Stadium Sept. 23, leaving a layer of water on the playing surface as the Rams defeated inter-state rival George Mason 3-1.
Emma Van Der Vorst broke the scoreless tie in the seventh minute to put the Patriots up 1-0 early in the first half. Van Der Vorst caught redshirt-senior goalkeeper Audrey Sanderson out of position, as she was high in the 18-yard box, allowing George Mason to score first as the ball went over Sanderson’s head.
The Rams answered minutes later as freshman forward Idelys Vazquez sent a cross from the touchline into the box for Jerabeck to control and hammer it home from the six-yard box.
VCU pulled ahead in the second half as junior defender Susanna Friedrichs scored on a penalty kick in the 53rd minute.
Jerabeck scored once more in the second half on a shot from just outside the 18-yard box off a pass from junior midfielder Alyssa Tallent. The tally was Jerabeck’s second of the match and seventh of the season.
“It wasn’t our best 90-minute performance, but we responded really well after giving up the goal early in the first half,” Martin said of her team’s performance. “I thought it was a gutty performance with the ground as wet as it was. I thought we did a good job of keeping the momentum throughout the game.”
The Rams outshot George Mason 28-10, including 14-3 in the first half. Sanderson had four saves on five shots on goal from the Patriots.
The Black and Gold travelled to New York Sept. 20 to take on St. Bonaventure in their first conference match and walked away on top with a 3-0 shutout victory, propelled by Jerabeck’s two goals.
“Tonight was a strong start to our A-10 campaign,” Martin told VCU Athletics. “We asserted ourselves early on in the match and were eventually rewarded with three good goals. It was a solid team effort from all 21 who stepped on the pitch this evening.”
VCU started shooting early as sophomore forward CiCi Fox shot in the seventh minute of the match, but her attempt was saved by the St. Bonaventure goalkeeper. Fox finished the match with two shots, both on goal.
The Rams kept their feet on the pedal in the first 30 minutes as they racked up four corner kicks and three shots on goal.
Jerabeck put the Rams on the board first as Friedrichs sent a cross into the 18-yard box for the midfielder to find the back of the net in the 44th minute.
Tallent scored the Rams’ second goal of the match in the 60th minute for her first goal of the season. Tallent scored three goals, all game winners, and had two assists last season.
Jerabeck scored again in the 79th minute as she caught the St. Bonaventure goalkeeper out of position for an open net to shoot at.
Sanderson recorded two saves as St. Bonaventure had seven shots, two on goal.
The Black and Gold continue their run of conference games, going up against the University of Dayton Sept. 27 and Duquesne University Sept. 30.
Sophomore forward Jared Greene’s two goals in a two-minute span led Men’s Soccer to victory over No. 20 Old Dominion University, 4-0, Sept. 19.
“The thing that I am pleased with was that we improved defensively, we kept the zero, and I think that was a good positive step for our team,” Men’s Soccer head coach Dave Giffard said of his team’s performance.
It was a slow-moving first half as a combined 19 fouls were called in the first 45 minutes. The Monarchs outshot the Rams 7-5 in the first half, but the Rams led in shots on goal 2-1.
The Black and Gold broke open the scoring as freshman forward Martin Ngoh scored on a 45-yard pass from junior midfielder Siad Haji. The 39th-minute goal was Ngoh’s first in his collegiate career.
VCU took the 1-0 lead to the halftime break but were not comfortable with the thin margin.
“I think after the goal in the first half we relaxed a little bit and thought, ‘Oh good, the job is done,’” Giffard said. “[ODU] got some more service and got better in some areas than they did in the first 32 minutes and I wasn’t liking that vibe.”
The Rams came back out firing in the second half as they added eight more shots, including seven on goal.
“[The approach] was not taking our foot off the gas and see what happens offensively,” Giffard said. “They are a young group and are not very experienced in those different situations, so we had to learn and say, ‘Okay, we got through it and we are up one goal, but we’ve got some work to do defensively.’”
Greene recorded his first goal in the 54th minute as the Monarch’s goalkeeper misplayed a pass back to him allowing Greene to steal the ball, go around the keeper and shoot on an empty net.
In the 55th minute, Greene found the back of the net again on a cross from Haji to put the Rams ahead by three.
“The first emotion I had was I was definitely very happy,” Greene said of his two goals scored in less than two minutes. “[I am] working very hard in training and to finally just be in the right spot at the right time with the great ball from Ryo [Shimazaki].”
Redshirt-senior midfielder Joseph Gonnella added the fourth and final goal in the 62nd minute. The tally marked Gonnella’s second of the season after failing to record a goal in his first three seasons with the Black and Gold.
Sophomore goalkeeper Mario Sequeira recorded his third shutout of the season after shutting out opponents eight times last year.
The shutout victory over Old Dominion is the Rams’ fourth of the season. In 2017, VCU had eight shutouts, propelling them to the NCAA tournament.
“[The shutout] gives us a strong mindset because we know how strong we are defensively, and we also do know that we can score attacking,” Greene said. “It is uplifting because we have amazing defenders and everybody on the team defends, so it really is a big help.”
Next up, the Rams go on the road for a conference game, traveling to compete against La Salle University Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.