Adam Cheek, Staff Writer
Men’s soccer dropped its match with New Jersey Institute of Technology on Sunday night 1-0 in overtime, despite the Rams outshooting the Highlanders 19-9.
The black and gold held NJIT scoreless for the entirety of regulation, but Highlanders forward Rene White scored the game-winning goal six minutes into overtime.
Sophomore forward Martin Ngoh was the standout of the night for the Rams, racking up six shots, three on goal. Sophomore midfielder Fiorre Mane added four of his own, while senior defenseman Ryo Shimazaki and junior midfielder Oquin Robinson had two each.
“I thought as the game went on, especially coming into the second half, I thought we really started to get things going,” coach Dave Giffard said.
Junior goalkeeper Mario Sequeira saved three of four shots on goal by NJIT, playing all 96 minutes of the game.
Sequeira, Mane, Robinson and junior forward Jared Greene were issued yellow cards.
The Highlanders rattled off a pair of shots around the three-minute mark, while VCU’s first shot came 13 minutes in off Ngoh’s foot.
The Rams went on the attack soon after, with Mane getting one off in the 25th minute. Ngoh followed suit in the 29th minute, as did Robinson not 30 seconds later.
VCU had the opportunity for a penalty kick 39 seconds into the second half. It was originally scored by Robinson, but referees called for a re-kick.
NJIT blocked Robinson’s attempt, and the match remained scoreless. VCU held the Highlanders without a shot for almost 10 minutes, but NJIT rattled off a shot and back-to-back attempts in the 59th minute.
“[We] certainly had some other moments,” Giffard said. “Flurries where we would spend three, four, five minutes attacking and they’d come dangerously.”
The Rams then fired off 11 unanswered shots in 27 minutes, with Ngoh coming the closest. His shot in the 88th minute ricocheted off the crossbar, nearly putting the Rams on the board.
Highlander senior midfielder Andrew Nino got one more shot off before the end of regulation, but the teams remained knotted in a stalemate.
In the 10 minute overtime period, White’s game-winner was the only attempted shot.
“In terms of performance, I thought going forward there was a significant step in improvement that we’ve been pleased with and happy with and [we] need to just continue building upon that,” Giffard said.
The Rams will begin a six-game stretch of away games, beginning with a 7 p.m. matchup against UCF Sept. 13.