November 18, 2012

Rams Drop 3-2 Heartbreaker to Syracuse in Second Round of NCAA College Cup

FINAL: Syracuse 3, No. 19 VCU 2 (NCAA College Cup Second Round – Richmond, Va.)

VCU STARTERS: #21 Wells (GK), #3 Castillo, #5 Haboush, #7 Monge Solano, #10 Bowie, #11 Johnson, #16 Arbelaez, #18 Shiffman, #22 Seymour, #23 Manel, #24 Fisher

SYRACUSE STARTERS: #25 Bono (GK), #2 Vale, #4 Murrell, #5 Cribley, #7 Clark, #8 Perea, #9 Stamoulacatos,, #11 Mueller, #13 Bibbs, #19 Hilliard, #20 Makowski

THE BASICS: Syracuse's Louis Clark found the net with just over two minutes left in double overtime to hand No. 19 VCU a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in the second round of the NCAA College Cup Sunday night at Sports Backers Stadium. Sophomore Juan Monge Solano and freshman Dennis Castillo each found the net for the Rams.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • VCU (12-4-5) went on top 1-0 in the ninth minute. Following a foul on Syracuse, Monge Solano fired a free kick from 40 yards out that bent into the left corner of the net.
  • The Rams were at it again five minutes later after Syracuse was called for a handball inside the box. Castillo, who finished the season 3-for-3 in penalty kicks, stepped into the box and deposited the PK into the right corner to extend VCU's lead to 2-0.
  • Syracuse (14-6-0) eventually fired its first shot of the night in the 17th minute but VCU redshirt junior goalkeeper Andrew Wells was there for the stop.
  • The Orange cut VCU's lead in half in the 21st minute.  Louis Clark drove through the box and put a shot on frame, which deflected off of Wells and into the right corner of the net to make it 2-1.
  • Syracuse had a chance to tie the match in the 26th minute when Clark sent a header towards the goal, but senior Brad Seymour stepped in front to earn the team save.
  • The Orange eventually found the equalizer in the 30th minute. Clark sent a pass to Stefanos Stamoulactos, whose shot deflected off of Wells and trickled into the left corner of the goal to knot the match 2-2.
  • VCU had an opportunity to retake the lead in the 31st minute but Syracuse goalkeepr Alex Bono made a stop on a strike from sophomore Jose Manel.  Wells then collected his second save of the night on a shot from Stamoulacatos four minutes later.
  • Bono continued his strong play in the net, making key saves in the 67th, 68th, and 74th minutes, but perhaps his biggest stop of the night came just before the end of regulation. Following a corner kick in the 90th minute, Monge Solano sent a header towards the net but Bono leaped and made the save to keep the match tied.
  • The Rams had a pair of chances in the first overtime. In the 92nd minute, freshman Devon Fisher's shot was blocked.  The deflection found Monge Solano, but his shot was just wide.
  • Syracuse finally scored the game-winner with just over two minutes left in the second overtime. Ted Cribley sent a pass to Clark, who drove the box and finished in the right corner.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • Monge Solano scored his first goal of the season, while Castillo added his sixth for VCU.
  • The Rams, who received a national seed and first-round bye, made their first appearance in the College Cup since 2004.
  • VCU finished the season with 12 victories, its most since 2007, and most under third-year head coach Dave Giffard.
  • The Rams posted double-digit wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2003-04.
  • Three of VCU's four losses this season came in double overtime.
  • VCU's four losses are its fewest since 2003.

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