RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University may have started slow, but it sure didn't finish that way.
Senior Marle van Dessel (Oisterwijk, Netherlands) scored two of VCU's five unanswered goals in a 5-2 exhibition victory over Radford Saturday at Cary Street Field.
In the match, which featured three 25-minute periods and a 10-minute overtime, the Rams fell behind 2-0 after Highlander goals by Melissa Register and Kay Tufts. From there, it was all Rams.
van Dessel, VCU's leading goal-scorer each of the last two seasons, recorded the Black and Gold's first and final goals in the 35th and 77th minutes, respectively. In between, the Rams also got a tying score from sophomore Kelsey Scherrer (Chesapeake, Va.) in the 44th minute and a go-ahead goal by classmate Chelsea Hill (Virginia Beach, Va.) in the 60th.
Hill, who scored two goals in 2009, collected the ball on the right side of the circle and chopped a hard shot to the far corner, where it slipped past the Radford goalie and off a Highlander defender for a 3-2 VCU lead.
Freshman Rymme van Dessel (Oisterwijk, Netherlands), the youngest of the Rams' three van Dessel sisters, flipped in a goal from close range just 15 seconds into the 7-on-7 overtime period off a through ball from Scherrer.
The Rams attempted 23 shots, but just two came in the first 25 minutes as VCU fell behind, 2-0. However, in the final three stanzas, VCU outshot Radford, 21-9, and dominated play.
Despite the slow start, VCU Head Coach Kelly McQuade came away impressed with her squad.
"I think we started a little bit shell shocked in the beginning, but once we turned it on, we were on fire," said McQuade, in her fourth season at the helm. "We had some great connections in our forward line. Our midfield line coming up, we had some great first days with our newcomers, so we're really excited about the future of this program."
VCU kicks off its regular season on Saturday, Aug. 28 when it hits the road to meet Albany at 12 p.m. in upstate New York.