VCU Battles Fordham to 1-1 Draw

FINAL: VCU 1, Fordham 1 – 2OT (Bronx, N.Y.)

VCU STARTERS: #21 Wells (GK), #3 Castillo, #5 Haboush, #7 Monge Solano, #10 Bowie, #11 Johnson, #14 Herrera Meraz, #18 Shiffman, #19 Keita, #22 Seymour, #24 Fisher

FORDHAM STARTERS: #26 Brailey (GK), #3 Bouchard, #6 Bekoe, #7 Gimand, #8 Valencia, #11 Nagel, #12 Granot, #16 Bitterman, #18 Stalker, #21 Walsh, #22 Seidenthal

THE BASICS: Senior Joseph Haboush scored his first goal of the season to put VCU in front in the 21st minute but Fordham battled back and eventually knotted the game in the 72nd minute.  VCU played a man down during the final 33 minutes of the match.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Sophomore Mario Herrera Meraz had a look in the 14th minute but his shot was blocked.  Fordham goalkeeper Sean Brailey made his first save of the game on an offering by freshman Devon Fisher five minutes later.
  • VCU goalkeeper Andrew Wells came up with his first stop in the 19th minute on a shot off the foot of Fordham's Kyle Bitterman.
  • Haboush eventually put VCU (7-2-4, 3-1-1 A-10) in front with his first goal of the season in the 21st minute.  Junior Jason Johnson sent a pass to Haboush on the wing, who then fired a quick strike off the crossbar and into the net for a 1-0 lead.
  • Herrera Meraz had two more looks in the 29th and 39th minutes.  Sophomore Jose Manel's shot went high in the 35th minute and Bitterman came up with a save on a strike by junior Nate Shiffman in the 40th minute.
  • Steve Nworjih and Tommy Granot each fired a shot for Fordham (5-4-3, 1-1-2 A-10) in the 39th and 42nd minutes, respectively.
  • Fordham knotted the game at 1-1 in the 72nd minute when Julian Nagal scored off a free kick from about 25 yards out.
  • VCU was issued a red card less than six minutes later and was forced to play a man down the rest of the way.
  • Wells made a stop on a header by Ryan Walsh in the 78th minute.  He made another save 30 seconds later on a shot from Nagal.
  • The Black and Gold held a 4-0 advantage in shots during the final 12 minutes of regulation but couldn't find the net.
  • Sophomore Assane Keita had a look in the 93rd minute but his attempt went high.  Wells made his fourth save less than two minutes later before Brailey made a stop on a shot by Kharlton Belmar in the 98th minute.
  • Both teams had just one shot apiece in the second overtime.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • Herrera Meraz fired a game-high five shots, while Keita, Fisher and Belmar finished with two apiece for VCU.
  • Haboush's goal was his first of the season and second of his career.
  • Johnson collected his fourth assist, second-most on the Rams this season.

QUOTABLE:
"Tonight was a very tough lesson for us to learn, but one that needs to be learned.  We had a lot of things go badly, but we struggle as a family, just like we succeed as a family.  I know that we will learn and bounce back as a team because of the quality of the people involved."
-VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard

WHAT'S AHEAD: 
VCU travels to La Salle on Sunday, Oct. 21 for a 1 p.m. match against the Explorers.  The Rams return to Sports Backers Stadium against Xavier (Oct. 26) and Dayton (Oct. 28) for their final two homes games of the season.

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