Men’s Soccer won its third straight conference game Oct. 6 against Duquesne University as the program celebrated its 40th anniversary. At halftime, members of the Inaugural Team and All-Time Team were honored at center field for the celebration.
The Rams’ (7-4, 3-0 A-10) hot start in Atlantic 10 play continued against the Dukes Oct. 6 with a 2-0 victory.
Sophomore goalkeeper Mario Sequeira continued his outstanding play, tallying three saves against the Dukes as well as leading the Rams to their seventh clean sheet of the season.
The Rams were powered offensively by junior defender Ryo Shimazaki and redshirt-senior midfielder Peter Pearson. Shimazaki pushed the Rams to a 1-0 lead in the first half after a goal — his first of the season — in the 22nd minute of the match with an assist from junior midfielder Siad Haji during a classic give-and-go.
Pearson sealed the game for the Rams in the 88th minute, scoring on a counter-attack with an assist from Haji, pushing the Rams lead to 2-0.
The Rams moved to 2-0 in the A-10 Oct. 3 behind two second-half goals from Haji.
UMass had the first five shots of the contest. However, the Rams had two opportunities to break the tie. Haji nearly broke the tie in the 18th minute, but his shot was blocked by a Minutemen defender. Junior midfielder Fortia Munts nearly broke the deadlock in the first half, but the shot was slightly too far to the right. Both teams flexed their muscles on defense in the hard-fought match.
In the second half, Haji managed to break free in the 63rd minute, receiving a pass from sophomore forward Jared Greene. Greene set up Haji for a shot 25 yards out. Five minutes later, Pearson dished out an assist as he played the ball to Haji, who then dribbled down the pitch and rocketed a shot pass the UMass goalkeeper.
The highlight of the match was VCU’s back line and Sequeira — the keeper’s four saves anchored the Rams on defense.
Next up, the Rams put their perfect A-10 record on the line as they travel to St. Louis University Oct. 10 and George Washington University Oct. 13.
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