No. 19 VCU Knocks Off No. 7 Akron 1-0; Rams Defeat Second Straight Top 15 Team on Road
FINAL: No. 19 VCU 1, No. 7 Akron 0 (Akron, Ohio)
RECORDS: VCU (2-1-1), Akron (3-2-0)
VCU STARTERS: #21 Wells (GK), #2 Owusu, #3 Castillo, #7 Monge Solano, #10 Bowie, #12 Belmar, #16 Duffie, #18 Shiffman, #19 Keita, #23 Manel, #24 Fisher
AKRON STARTERS: #1 Pina (GK), #2 Souders, #3 Abdul-Salaam, #4 Gallego, #5 Foldesy, #6 Najem, #7 Brenes, #8 Souto, #11 Seremba, #14 Stevenson, #23 Derschang
- Sophomore Dennis Castillo's header in the 75th minute was all 19th-ranked VCU needed as the Rams knocked off No. 7 Akron 1-0 Friday night in front of 3,319 fans at FirstEnergy Stadium.
- The Rams picked up their second straight road win over a Top 15 program in less than a week as VCU also defeated No. 13 Maryland 3-2 on Sept. 8.
- VCU handed Akron just its second home loss in more than five years, and the Zips' first since a 1-0 setback against Michigan State on Nov. 2, 2011. Akron is now 85-5-9 at home dating back to the 2006 season.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Junior Juan Monge Solano had a look for VCU in the 22nd minute but Akron goalkeeper Fernando Pina made his first save of the match.
- Senior goalkeeper Andrew Wells made five first half stops in net for the Rams to keep the game scoreless at intermission.
- Sophomore Devon Fisher fired a shot wide in the 74th minute before the Rams took the lead a minute later when Castillo, who took a cross from Monge Solano, finished with a header past Pina to put the Rams on top 1-0.
- VCU remained strong on defense, holding Akron without a shot on goal in the final 30 minutes of the match.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- VCU improves to 5-1-1 against ranked opponents the last two years (2-0-1 in 2013).
- Wells posted seven saves, five in the first half, en route to his first shutout of the season.
- Castillo, Fisher and Monge Solano each registered a shot for the Rams with two of those strikes on frame.
- Akron outshot VCU 28-3; however, just seven of the Zips' shots were on goal.
"I was proud of the guys tonight for grinding out a win in a very tough environment against one of the best teams in the country. Now we have to focus on getting the guys turned around for Sunday."
-VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard
WHAT'S AHEAD: The Rams concludes their three-match road swing Sunday, Sept. 15 against Niagara at 3:30 p.m. VCU returns to Sports Backers Stadium on Sept. 21 against Coastal Carolina.