VCU Battles UMBC to 1-1 Draw in Opener of Holiday Inn Express BWI Classic

FINAL: VCU 1, UMBC 1 (Baltimore, Md. – Holiday Inn Express BWI Classic)

VCU STARTERS: #21 Wells (GK), #3 Castillo, #4 Harvey, #7 Monge Solano, #11 Johnson, #14 Herrera Meraz, #16 Arbalez, #18 Shiffman, #22 Seymour, #23 Manel, #24 Fisher

UMBC STARTERS: #0 Saunders (GK), #3 DiCesare, #8 Scott, #9 Caringl, #12 Pato, #13 Dacres, #17 Dennis, #18 Ballo, #20 Kapor, #21 McCarron, #22 Vaeth

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • VCU junior goalkeeper Andrew Wells registered his first save in just the third minute off a shot by Patrick Pato from the top of the box.
  • Junior Jason Johnson followed with a pair of looks in the seventh and ninth minutes.  However, his first attempt from inside the box went wide left before his second strike from the close left wing sailed high.
  • Redshirt freshman Devon Fisher fired a shot from the left wing in the 19th minute, but UMBC goalie Phil Saunders posted his first save of the night to keep VCU off the board.  Sophomores Mario Herrera Meraz and Jose Manel also recorded shots on goal in the 20th minute.
  • Wells made another save in the 30th minute before UMBC took the lead less than two minutes later.  Following a cross from the left side, Pete Caringel sent a header into the net from about six yards out to give the Retrievers a 1-0 lead.
  • Saunders went on to make his fourth save in the 33rd minute off a header shot from Meraz.  Merza had another look five minutes later but his strike from the top of the box was high.
  • Following a UMBC foul in the 49th minute, freshman Dennis Castillo (pictured) scored his first career goal to knot the game at 1-1 when he beat Saunders with a right-footed penalty kick into the left side of the net.  VCU remained on the attack as four different Rams fired shots in the next 10 minutes.
  • Johnson nearly gave the Black & Gold the lead in the 70th minute but his shot nailed the crossbar.  Saunders then made another save on a Johnson strike in the 76th minute before posting his sixth save on an offering from sophomore Juan Monge Solano less than a minute later.
  • Solano and Castillo had another pair of shots on goal in the 85th and 86th minutes but Saunders again made stops.  Wells made his fifth save with less than 30 seconds to play in regulation.
  • VCU's only shot in the pair of overtimes came in the 109th minute when junior Romena Bowie's attempt went wide from the top of the box.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • Johnson fired a game-high five shots, while Marez finished with four (two on goal) and Castillo added three (two on goal) for VCU. 
  • After holding a 22-8 advantage in shots in regulation, UMBC posted three of the four shots in the two overtime sessions.
  • VCU held a 13-3 advantage in shots in the second half, including an 8-2 margin in the final 25 minutes of regulation.
  • The Rams have outshot their opponents 64-36 during their three games this season, twice recording 23 or more shots (season-high 28 against Bucknell on Aug. 24).
  • Two of VCU's first three games have gone into overtime.  The Rams have tied both matches 1-1.

QUOTABLE:
"Tonight was frustrating for all of us, but the type of game we need to continue to learn from as we move forward.  Unfortunately, we will see the same type of game plan 12-15 more times this year and we're going to have to solve the challenges that teams present us.  We have a few details that need to get better in different areas of the field that you can only address through training and repetition.  We didn't do as well in the final third as I feel we are capable of, but I feel very confident that we will soon.  We also conceded a goal off a set piece that really put us in the hole.  

"On a few positive notes, we responded after going down a goal way against the run of play for the second time in three games and it was good to get [injured Romena] Bowie back in and get him some minutes.  Our staff will watch the tape and we'll continue to learn and make gains.  We also put a lot of miles on our legs tonight, so we'll need to get into recovery mode and get ready for Saturday night against a very disciplined and well coached Navy team."
-VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard 

WHAT'S AHEAD:
VCU continues play in the Holiday Inn Express BWI Classic on Saturday against Navy at 7 p.m.  The Rams then continue their six-game road trip with a pair of matches in Old Dominion's annual tournament Sept. 7-9.

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