RICHMOND, Va. – After suffering a heartbreaking double-overtime loss in its season opener Saturday versus Florida Gulf Coast, Virginia Commonwealth University regrouped Monday and posted a 2-0 shutout against Coastal Carolina University in the final game of the Richmond Marriott Classic presented by Adidas.
VCU improves to 1-1-0 on the season, while Coastal Carolina falls to 0-2-0 after dropping both of its games this weekend.
"I thought our guys worked hard throughout the course of the game and we made the most of our opportunities," said VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard, who picked up his first win as a collegiate head coach. "I think our discipline was better today but we still could have been a little bit tougher defensively. For us that was our focus. We knew that Coastal was very dangerous and we wanted to try to eliminate as much of their opportunities as possible.
"The guys just fought hard. It was a good team victory and nice way to close out the opening tournament."
Coastal Carolina threatened with a pair of shots early before VCU senior goalkeeper Gabriel Rodriguez (right), who registered six saves and posted a shutout in his first start of the season, made a stop on Sebastian Bahos' shot in the 15th minute.
VCU's first chance at a goal came two minutes later when senior Jake Van Yahres split a pair of Coastal Carolina defenders with a pass through the middle of the box. Sophomore Alberto Fonseca took the feed and fired a strike from just outside the box but Chanticleers goalkeeper Scott Angevine collected the save.
Senior midfielder C.J. Gehin-Scott eventually gave the Rams a 1-0 lead in the 38th minute. Following a deflection deep in VCU territory, freshman Nate Shiffman sent a long pass through the middle to Gehin-Scott in the open field and he lifted a strike over the head of Angevine, who was charging on the play, from 30 yards out.
After Florida Gulf Coast scored both of its goals off free kicks against VCU in the Rams' season-opening loss Saturday, including the game-winner with seven seconds left in double overtime, luck finally turned VCU's way in the 49th minute on Monday. Following a Coastal Carolina foul, freshman Peter Lee (left) scored his first collegiate goal when he found the lower right post from 50 yards away, which put the Black & Gold on top 2-0.
VCU would control possession for most of the second half as the Rams allowed just three Coastal Carolina shots, two of which came in the final 1:03. Meanwhile, the Black & Gold collected eight shots in the final 45 minutes of play.
Coastal Carolina made a push with just over four minutes to go but the Chanticleers were called offside in an effort to pull within a score.
Lee nearly found the net for the second time with less than two minutes to go but his strike sailed high of the net.
The Chanticleers made a final push when Rodrigo Vianna fired a close range shot but Rodriguez made the sliding save against the lower left post with less than 30 seconds to go.
VCU returns to action on Friday, Sept. 10 for a 5 p.m. match
against Wofford in the Coastal Carolina Invitational. The
Rams then face Howard on Sept. 12 at Noon in the tournament
Marriott Classic presented by Adidas All-Tournament Team
Alberto Fonseca, VCU
C.J. Gehin-Scott, VCU
Chris Harmon, Old Dominion
Deion Jones, Florida Gulf Coast
Jordan LeBlanc, Old Dominion
Yoram Mwila, VCU
Ryan Oakes, Old Dominion
Matthew O'Shaughnessy, Florida Gulf Coast
Justin Portillo, Coastal Carolina
Christian Raudales, Florida Gulf Coast
Adam Roscioli, Old Dominion
Alex Russell, Coastal Carolina