Score: VCU 1, Drexel 0
Location: Richmond, Va. (Cary Street Field)
Records: VCU 1-0, Drexel 0-1
Short Story: The Rams opened the 2017 season with a 1-0 victory over Drexel on Friday afternoon at Cary Street Field. VCU outshot Drexel 13-6 overall, got an early goal from Maite Sturm in her collegiate debut and held off a late Dragons rally. The win also marked the first victory at VCU for head coach Stacey Bean. Chessa Kownurko made five saves for VCU in the shutout victory.
- Maite Sturm scored the game's only goal in her collegiate debut.
- Emily McNamara led the team with five shots and three on goal. Sturm was second on the team with three shots and two of them on target.
- Bentley Zabicki, Rebecca Ward, Spencer Tossone, Lauren Kaup and Svea Sturm each recorded one shot.
- Kownurko and VCU turned away all five shot attempts by Drexel
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Emily McNamara recorded the first shot of the game 6:53 into the contest that forced a save from Erin Gilchrist. Neither team would record a shot until 15:34 when McNamara again would record a shot on goal that was saved.
- VCU broke the 0-0 deadlock after a penalty corner from Maite Sturm bounced around before ending up on her stick and took a shot that deflected off the goalkeeper and into the goal. The Rams had a chance to double their lead at the 25:27 mark of the first half as Ward took a hard shot off a penalty corner that was saved and cleared.
- The Rams took a 1-0 lead into halftime and prevented the Dragons from taking a single shot during the first half of the contest.
- Drexel recorded their first shot just over two minutes into the second half as Kownurko turned away an attempt from Chandler McFeeley. Svea Sturm and VCU placed a shot on goal just three minutes later but her attempt was saved.
- Kownurko and VCU turned away all five shot attempts by Drexel but none was bigger than the penalty stroke save at with less than seven minutes remaining in the contest. Drexel had earned the penalty stroke and Tess Horan had stepped up to take it.
- Horan aimed her shot hard and to her right side but Kownurko made a diving effort and blocked the shot with her arm and preserved the shutout. VCU's defense prevented any other shot attempts on goal for the remainder of the contest to preserve the shutout.
The Rams will return to action at 1 p.m. on Sunday against Villanova at Cary Street Field.