The Rams prevail over the University of Pittsburgh with a last minute-goal

Multiple VCU players go after the ball during in a game against the University of Pittsburgh on Sept. 8. Photo by Kaitlyn Fulmore

Thailon Wilson, Staff Writer

The Rams defeated the University of Pittsburgh Panthers, 3-2 in a back-and-forth game to mark VCU’s second win of the season. 

VCU head coach Lindsey Martin said she was elated to add another win under the black and gold’s belt. 

“I’m super excited and super pumped for the team. We’ve had some tough results just as far as getting ties instead of getting wins,” Martin said.

The black and gold entered the game in a 3-5-2 formation meaning three defenders, five midfielders and two forwards up front. VCU came out of the gate providing a lot of aggressive passes towards the Panthers goal.

The black and gold started the game by adding pressure to the Panthers to prevent them from setting up their renowned offense which averages three goals a game which is ranked third in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, or NCAA, according to their website NCAA.

At the fifth-minute mark, VCU sophomore forward Kanna Matsuhisa then sent a pass to VCU freshman midfielder Kendyl Sarver, who sent the ball into the net to give the Rams the first lead of the game with a score of 1-0.

The Rams used the momentum to continue sending in passes towards the goal, but they fell short of completions. 

The Panthers continued to apply pressure until the 25-minute mark where Pittsburgh senior forward Leah Pais scored to make the game tied at 1-1.

The game continued to be neck and neck with chances for both teams, but neither gained the advantage as the half ended 1-1.

The second half started out a lot more intense between both sides. The fans were getting rowdy, and each team wanted to score the goal to give their team a lead.

At the 54-minute mark, another pass was sent to Sarver who then scored another goal to give the black and gold the lead making the score, 2-1.

“It feels good. Honestly, you just kind of put yourself into position and just hope for it and just go for it. Sometimes it goes your way,” Sarver said.

The Panthers were down 2-1, but at the 77-minute mark, Pittsburgh sophomore forward Sarah Schupansky scored a tap-in off a corner kick to tie the game, 2-2.

VCU graduate student Amber DiOrio said senior goalkeeper Whitney Horton helped the defense keep their heads cool even after letting in some goals.

“It’s really nice to have Whitney back there with us because she keeps us calm. No matter if someone fouls or gets a yellow card like my yellow. She’s like Amber, you’re good, you’re fine” DiOrio said. 

Horton was a key-factor in stopping the Panthers from scoring alongside the defense with nine saves in the second half, according to StatBroadcast.

The Rams earned a penalty shot with the game coming down to the last two minutes. 

VCU redshirt junior midfielder Anna Bagley was given the green light to take the penalty and scored the goal in the right hand corner to give the Rams a last-minute lead over the Panthers.

The clock ran out before the Panthers had the opportunity to answer back with an equalizer and the Rams won, 3-2. The last minute goal gave the black and gold their second win of the season making their overall record two wins, one tie and four losses.

The Rams will play the University of Massachusetts Minutewomen on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Sports Backers Stadium. The game will be televised on ESPN+.

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