VCU PICKS UP 1-0 CAA ROAD VICTORY AT UNCW ON WEDNESDAY

WILMINGTON, N.C.  – The VCU Men's Soccer team created a bevy of first half chances in its matchup with UNCW on Wednesday night, but it was an own goal by a member of the Seahawks in the second half that ultimately earned VCU a 1-0 CAA road victory.

The Rams improve to 9-6-0 overall and 4-3-0 in the CAA, while the Seahawks drop to 3-10-1 overall and 1-6-1 in the CAA.

"I was proud of the way the boys fought and battled after getting the goal," said VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard. "We have a lot of things we need to do better, but we will take the three points on the road and turn our attention to another tough road match on Saturday at Drexel."

Sophomore forward Jason Johnson fired off three shots in the first half, with his best attempt coming off a deflected pass. Junior forward Yoram Mwila collected a pass from junior midfielder Joseph Haboush just inside the right side of the 18-yard box. Mwila dribbled through a pair of UNCW defenders before attempting to pass it off to a teammate; the ball deflected off a defender and Johnson won the loose ball and fired a shot just wide of the Seahawk's left goal post.

The Seahawks best opportunity of the first half came just a minute later, as UNCW midfielder Ettienne Boulanger attempted to chip the ball over the head of VCU goalkeeper Josh Pantazelos. Pantazelos quickly backpedaled and was able to force the ball up over the crossbar for a UNCW corner kick.  

Sophomore midfielder Romena Bowie provided a scoring chance in the 37th minute of play, as his shot from 40 yards out was driven through several UNCW defenders before turning just wide left of the net.

VCU held a 9-4 shots advantage in the first 45 minutes of play, while each team earned one corner kick attempt.

The Rams took a 1-0 lead in the 63rd minute off an own goal by the Seahawks. Johnson had a ball played into the right corner and directed a low-driven cross towards the back post which Mwila was moving towards. The ball never arrived to Mwila, as a UNCW defender touched the ball into his own net, handing VCU the 1-0 advantage.

The Seahawks best chance of the second half came in the 71st minute of play Mark Harris from the left side of the 18-yard box. Harris sent in a cross towards the near post, which Shawn Guderian was posted up near; Guderian headed the ball high and out of play to end the chance for UNCW.

The Rams were ablle to run out the clock unscathed, moving the ball throughout the pitch and maintaining possession.

VCU finished with the match with a 10-8 edge in shots, while UNCW held a 3-1 corner kick advantage.

The Rams will continue CAA play on the road at Drexel this Saturday at 4 p.m.

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