VCU Wins Third Straight, Defeats Rhode Island 3-1 to Remain Perfect in A-10 Play

FINAL: VCU 3, Rhode Island 1 (Sports Backers Stadium – Richmond, Va.)

RECORDS: VCU (6-4-1, 2-0-0 A-10), Rhode Island (2-7-0, 0-1-0 A-10)

VCU STARTERS: #21 Wells (GK), #3 Castillo, #4 Harvey, #7 Monge Solano, #10 Bowie, #12 Belmar, #16 Duffie, 18 Shiffman, #19 Keita, #23 Manel, #24 Fisher

RHODE ISLAND STARTERS: #1 Spenser (GK), #2 Cloutier, #3 Camillo, #5 Caselatto, #6 Naples, #7 Oakley, #8 Haught, #10 Soons, #16 Ferguson, #19 Sykes, #22 Discavage

THE BASICS:

  • VCU won its third straight and second in a row to start Atlantic 10 Conference play Sunday afternoon with a 3-1 victory over Rhode Island at Sports Backers Stadium.
  • During its three-match win streak, including a 2-0 start to league action, VCU has outscored its opponents 9-2.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • Junior Ritchie Duffie scored his second goal in as many games to give VCU an early 1-0 lead in the 12th minute.  Classmate Kharlton Belmar lofted a cross inside the box, where Jose Manel headed the ball toward the net before Duffie finished past Rhode Island goalkeeper Thomas Spenser at the near post.
  • Sophomore Devon Fisher fired a shot wide in the 14th minute before Manel had a look from about 25 yards out, which missed the left post six minutes later.
  • Sophomore Dennis Castillo sent a cross from the right wing to Belmar inside the box in the 22nd minute but Spenser made a snag on his header attempt from about eight yards out.
  • Matt Sykes fired a long strike in the 29th minute for Rhode Island but senior goalkeeper Andrew Wells made his second save of the match. 
  • Ranier Randell nearly netted the equalizer three minutes later with another long look but his strike sailed just over Wells' hands, bounced off the crossbar and landed in front of the goal line.
  • Junior Mario Herrera Meraz fired a shot from about 20 yards out in the 41st minute but Spenser made diving stop to his left to keep it a one-goal game at intermission.
  • Manel launched another strike from the top of the box in the 65th minute but a Rhode Island defender stepped in front and blocked the offering.
  • Senior Garrett Harvey extended VCU's lead in the 82nd minute when he sent a header past Spenser to the near post off a corner kick from junior Juan Monge Solano.
  • Matt Sykes answered for Rhode Island seven minutes later when he took a feed from Joey Haught and found the lower right corner from eight yards out to cut its deficit to 2-1.
  • However, on the ensuing kickoff, VCU caught Spenser too far outside the box as freshman Dakota Barnathan tapped to Manel, who then lofted a shot from just inside midfield over Spenser's head to put the Rams in front 3-1.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • VCU held a 14-10 advantage in shots with nine different Rams firing a strike. 
  • For the second game in a row three different players scored for VCU.  Four Rams also found the net in VCU's 4-0 victory over UMass on Friday night.
  • Duffie, who has two goals and an assist in VCU's last two matches, and Manel fired a team-high three shots apiece.
  • Monge Solano collected an assist for the second straight game.
  • Wells made four saves in goal for VCU.

WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU concludes its season-long four-match home stand on Friday, Oct. 18 against defending national champion Indiana.  Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. at Sports Backers Stadium.  The Rams then travel to George Mason on Oct. 20.

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