FINAL: VCU 3, Dayton 2 (Richmond, Va.)
VCU STARTERS: #21 Wells (GK), #3 Castillo, #5 Haboush, #7 Monge Solano, #10 Bowie, #11 Johnson, #14 Meraz, #16 Arbelaez, #18 Shiffman, #22 Seymour, and #24 Fisher
DAYTON STARTERS: #26 Froschauer (GK), #3 Abidor, #4 Lenning, #6 Allheily, #10 Jones, #14 Keller, #15 McCreary, #17 Nelson, #18 Howe, #22 Peterson, #24 Schoonderwoerd
THE BASICS: Senior Joseph Haboush scored the game-winning goal in the 75th minute to lift VCU to a 3-2 victory over Atlantic 10 foe Dayton in the Rams' home finale Sunday afternoon. Freshman Dennis Castillo and sophomore Kharlton Belmar also scored for VCU.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- VCU (10-2-4, 6-1-1) controlled play in the first half, firing three shots in the first seven minutes of the contest. Senior Juan Arbelaez took the game's first shot in the third minute but pushed his offering wide. Junior Jason Johnson had two shots in the fifth and seventh minutes, the first of which was saved by Dayton goalkeeper Chris Froschauer.
- Freshman Devon Fisher had a great look in the 12th minute but a Flyers defender was able to get in front of the ball and posted a team save to keep the Rams out of the net.
- Castillo gave VCU a 1-0 advantage in the 18th minute when the Rams were awarded a penalty kick following a foul inside the box. Castillo then beat Froschauer to put the Black and Gold ahead.
- VCU outshot Dayton (9-5-1, 3-3-1) 6-1 during the next 20 minutes until Belmar extended the Rams' lead with a score in the 38th minute. Mario Herrera Meraz found a cutting Belmar off a corner kick, who fired a shot off of a Dayton defender and into the upper right corner of the net for a 2-0 advantage.
- VCU junior goalkeeper Andrew Wells made his first save of the game on a shot from Andres Acevedo in the 56th minute. He made another stop on a strike from Daniel Berko in the 66th minute.
- Dayton eventually cut the defict in half in the 68th minute when Acevedo intercepted a clearing pass from the Rams' back line, drove through the box and finished in the right corner to make it 2-1.
- The Flyers continued to pressure and netted the equalizer two minutes later. Abe Keller sent a corner kick into the box, where Berko got his foot on the ball and found the top of the net to knot the game at 2-2.
- VCU regained the lead for good in the 75th minute when Haboush scored his second goal of the season. Herrera Meraz passed to Haboush at the top of the box, where he fired the ball into the right corner to put VCU back in front a 3-2.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- The Rams won their third straight match and pushed their unbeaten streak to five.
- Haboush's goal was his second of the season and his first game-winning tally of the year.
- Belmar added his fourth goal of the season and his second in as many games.
- Castillo's penalty kick was his fourth goal of the season. The San Jose, Costa Rica native is 2-for-2 on PKs this year.
- Herrera Meraz added two assists, good for his team-leading eighth of the season.
- Wells made four saves for the Rams, all in the second half.
- VCU honored its five seniors prior to the match: Haboush, Arbeleaz, Brad Seymour, Chris Maimone and Clark Hankins.
"I was proud of the guys today for a gutsy result against a very good Dayton team. After giving up the two goals, our guys made plays to get the goal and Joey [Haboush] came up big at the best time. That's a great belief builder for our team to know that we can bounce back in the face of adversity, no matter what is happening in the game, regardless of the opponent or conditions. Now we look forward to a big game Friday night against Richmond for the regular season title."
-VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard
The Rams conclude the regular season with a match at cross-town rival Richmond on Friday, Nov. 1 at 7 p.m.