September 25, 2010

VCU BATTLES NORTHEASTERN TO 2-2 DRAW IN CAA OPENER

RICHMOND, Va. – Virginia Commonwealth University seniors Jake Van Yahres and C.J. Gehin-Scott (pictured, right) each registered a goal for the Rams but VCU couldn't hold off a pair of Northeastern rallies and battled the Huskies to a 2-2 draw Saturday evening at Sports Backers Stadium in the Colonial Athletic Association opener for both teams.

VCU posts its second straight draw and runs its record to 3-1-3 on the season, while Northeastern is now 2-4-1.

"There were a lot of positives to take from tonight," said VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard.  "Although I was very disappointed with surrendering the lead twice, I was pleased with our improvement over the last few weeks.  Our front to back defensive honesty was much improved and although we didn't get the three points, I felt it was a big step in the right direction."

Van Yahres got the scoring started for VCU in the 15th minute as the Rams took an early 1-0 lead.  Sophomore Brad Seymour sent a long pass through the middle and Van Yahres collected the feed, moved to his right and placed a perfect shot over goalkeeper Oliver Blum's head and into the upper right of the net.

Northeastern's Nick Leuders nearly put the Huskies on the board in the 30th minute but Rams' keeper Gabriel Rodriguez made the stop on the hard strike.

After Gehin-Scott fired a shot high of the target with 12 minutes to go in the opening stanza, Leuders made a run through the VCU box a minute later and slid a shot past Rodriguez into the lower left of the net and knotted the score at 1-1.

With 2:30 to go in the first half, Mike Kennedy took a feed from Dale McDonald but his strike hit the crossbar in an attempt to give Northeastern a lead before the break.

It didn't take long for VCU to move back in front during the second stanza as sophomore Yoram Mwila was taken down inside the box just 45 seconds into the half.  For the second straight game, Gehin-Scott converted a penalty kick and the Rams pulled ahead 2-1.

Kennedy sent a free kick from 30 yards out and hit the post in the 67th minute but VCU was called for a foul in the box with 18:08 showing and Kennedy found the lower right on a penalty kick to even the score at 2-2.

Mwila sent a header just wide of the net with 13 minutes to go and Gehin-Scott sent a shot that sailed wide of the target with 11 minutes to play in regulation.

Junior Nick Rich would send a cross in front of the net with three minutes to go but Gehin-Scott's header missed just wide.  Rich then sent a free kick in the box with 1:40 remaining but Blum collected his third save.

Neither team could find the net with a late push in regulation and for the fourth time in seven games VCU went to overtime.

Gehin-Scott fired a strike with three minutes to go in the first extra frame but drifted high of the net and Northeastern's Don Anding was off target with less than two minutes to play.

In a late push for the Rams, Rich collected a rebound following an offering by freshman Jason Johnson but Blum made a diving stop with five minutes to go in double OT.

The stat sheet remained fairly even for both squads as VCU held a 19-15 advantage in shots and a 5-2 margin in corners.  Northeastern was called for 13 fouls, while the Rams were charged with 12.

VCU returns to action on Wed., Sept. 29 at Georgia State before traveling to George Mason on Oct. 2.  Kickoff from Atlanta, Ga., is set for 7 p.m.

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