September 15, 2010

VCU DEFEATS CROSS TOWN RIVAL RICHMOND, 3-1

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University senior C.J. Gehin-Scott (pictured, right) scored a pair of goals and junior Nick Rich added another as the Rams claimed a 3-1 win against cross town rival University of Richmond on Wednesday night at Ukrop Park.

With the victory, VCU improves to 3-1-1 on the year, while Richmond drops its third straight and falls to 1-3-1.

"On a night that we certainly weren't at our best, we found a way to score three goals and do enough to get a result against a hard working, well coached team," said VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard.  "I thought overall it was probably the least sharp we have been so far, but sometimes days like that happen, we talk about finding a way to win and that is exactly what we did tonight." 

VCU was on the attack early and spent most of the first half in Richmond territory, claiming a 7-2 advantage in shots during the opening period.

It didn't take long for the Black & Gold to find the net as Rich, who scored his first goal as a Ram, placed a free kick from about 25 yards out into the upper right post and VCU took a 1-0 lead in the eighth minute.

Sophomore Yoram Mwila nearly added to VCU's lead six minutes later with a strike from the top of the box but Richmond goalkeeper Brock Tomlinson made the stop.  Tomlinson came up with another save at the 20:28 mark as Rich almost found the net for a second time with a point blank shot.

Richmond responded with a push less than a minute later and evened the score at 1-1 on a Jake Russell strike.  Brendon Cristobal sent a cross through the back line and Russell found the lower left corner from the top of the box.

After VCU was called for a hand ball in 47th minute, Rams goalkeeper Gabriel Rodriguez, who posted two saves and picked up his third win of the season, came up with a diving stop on a penalty kick by Richmond's Houston Oldham and preserved the tie.

Freshman Jason Johnson then collected a loose ball just inside VCU territory and sent a long feed through the middle to Gehin-Scott, who took the pass on the run and slid a shot past Tomlinson to put VCU on top 2-1 in the 51st minute.

With 21 minutes to go, Cristobal took a deflection off a VCU defender and charged the goal on a breakaway but the Rams back line converged with Rodriguez and kept the Spiders out of the net.

Sophomore Alberto Fonseca fired a shot from outside the box and hit the right post in the 72nd minute.  The shot rolled around the net before a charging Gehin-Scott finished it off for his second goal of the night and VCU went ahead 3-1.

The Rams, who held a 15-7 advantage in shots and a 6-3 margin in corners, have now won three straight and seven of the last nine meetings in the series.  VCU won, 4-3, last year at Sports Backers Stadium and defeated the Spiders, 1-0, on the road in 2008.

Entering the game, VCU had posted three straight shutouts.  Richmond's goal tonight was the first score VCU had allowed in more than 300 consecutive minutes.  It's been seven years since the Rams held four straight opponents scoreless.

VCU is back in action Wednesday, Sept. 22 when it travels to Farmville, Va., to face in-state foe Longwood at 7 p.m.  The Rams return to Sports Backers Stadium on Sept. 25 against Northeastern for their Colonial Athletic Association opener.

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