FINAL: William & Mary 2, VCU 1 (Exhibition – Richmond, Va.)
VCU STARTERS: #21 Wells (GK), #3 Castillo, #5 Paz, #7 Monge Solano, #8 Barnathan, #10 Bowie, #12 Belmar, #16 Duffie, #18 Shiffman, #19 Keita, #24 Fisher
WILLIAM & MARY STARTERS: #13 Jones (GK), #4 Teiman, #8 Dunn, #9 Flesch, #11 West, #12 Kestler, #15 Luster, #16 Albiston, #17 Coffey, #18 Patel, #20 Speed Jr.
- Former Colonial Athletic Association rival William & Mary scored a pair of early goals to edge VCU, 2-1, Wednesday night in an exhibition match at Sports Backers Stadium.
- The Tribe found the net in both the 8th and 12th minutes before VCU junior midfielder Ray De Leon eventually cut the Rams' deficit in half with a goal in the 77th minute.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- William & Mary's Ryan Flesch fired a shot from the far right side of the box, which snuck into the lower left corner of the net for a 1-0 lead in the 8th minute.
- The Tribe was at it again less than four minutes later when Josh West sent a cross from the left wing to Ben Coffey inside the box. Coffey gathered the feed, turned and found the upper right corner to extend the lead to 2-0.
- Redshirt junior Ritchie Duffie, who fired a game-high four shots, had a series of first half looks for VCU but couldn't find the net. Following a cross from the right wing in the 14th minute, Duffie launched a header just wide of the near post. He had another look sail wide in the 37th minute before his strike in the 40th minute was blocked.
- Duffie nearly put the Rams on the board in the 52nd minute when his shot drilled the post. Redshirt sophomore Devon Fisher followed with a pair of looks two minutes later.
- VCU, which was on the attack for much of the second stanza firing seven of its 10 shots, pulled within 2-1 in the 77th minute. De Leon fired a strike from the top of the box, which deflected off a William & Mary defender and into the lower left corner.
- The Rams held the Tribe to just one shot in the second half and none during the final 32 minutes of the match.
- VCU tried the even the score in the 89th minute but William & Mary goalkeeper Bennett Jones made a save on a header from freshman Finnlay Wyatt.
BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:
- VCU outshot William & Mary 10-7, including a 7-1 advantage in the second half.
- The Tribe attempted just one shot in the final 46 minutes, including none in the final 32.
- Duffie fired a game-high four shots, three of which came in the opening stanza. Six different Rams recorded a shot with Fisher collecting two.
- Redshirt senior goalkeeper Andrew Wells made three saves in 61 minutes of action.
- VCU held a 5-1 advantage in corner kicks.
QUOTABLE: "I thought tonight was a very important scrimmage for us in a lot of ways, we got an opportunity to play 21 different players against a good William & Mary team. We saw some good things, some OK things, and some not so good things. After less than a week together, that is to be expected, especially when you play the way that we try to, it does take a little longer to create than it does to destroy.
"We do however, have a ton of work to do before next weekend when we kickoff against UAB and ODU, but to be fair, I think this is a group who will grow and improve throughout the course of the season. It isn't about where we are today, after six days of preseason, it's about where we can be over the next three months. There is a special team in this group, we just need to keep working to bring that team out."
-VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard
WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU plays three straight home matches to open the regular season, beginning with UAB on Aug. 30. The Rams then face in-state rival Old Dominion on Sept. 1 before hosting nationally-ranked New Mexico on Sept. 6. All three matches are slated to kickoff at 7 p.m. at Sports Backers Stadium.