FINAL: No. 24 VCU 3, La Salle 0 (Sports Backers Stadium – Richmond, Va.)
RECORDS: VCU (8-4-2, 3-0-1 A-10), La Salle (6-6-2, 3-1-0 A-10)
VCU STARTERS: #21 Wells (GK), #3 Castillo, #4 Harvey, #7 Monge Solano, #8 Barnathan, #12 Belmar, #14 Herrera Meraz, #16 Duffie, #18 Shiffman, #19 Keita, #24 Fisher
LA SALLE STARTERS: #77 John McCarthy (GK), #4 Farrell, #6 Pink, #8 Chapman, #9 Robinson, #10 Plumhoff, #11 Connors, #12 Caya, #15 Sullivan, #17 Stanton, #26 Williams
- No. 24 VCU posted its third straight shutout, fourth in its last five matches, and moved into sole possession of first place in the Atlantic 10 with a 3-0 victory against La Salle on Friday night at Sports Backers Stadium.
- The Rams push their unbeaten streak to six matches. VCU is also 8-3-2 in its last 13 outings, including wins over defending national champion Indiana, 2010 national champ Akron and 2012 Final Four participant Maryland.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- VCU threatened early in the fifth minute when junior Kharlton Belmar sent a cross to classmate Ritchie Duffie, who fired a shot to the near post but La Salle goalkeeper John McCarthy made his first save of the match.
- Junior Mario Herrera Meraz had a look in the 17th minute when he launched a strike from about 20 yards out near the top of the circle but McCarthy deflected the ball over the crossbar.
- VCU got on the board in the 26th minute after Belmar was taken down inside the box. Sophomore Dennis Castillo then converted his second penalty kick of the season for a 1-0 advantage.
- Herrera Meraz tried to extend the Rams' lead late in the first half when he fired a shot from outside the top of the box but McCarthy again made a diving save to his left in the 41st minute.
- Castillo's header off junior Juan Monge Solano's corner kick six minutes into the second period missed high of the net.
- VCU nearly added to its advantage in the 71st minute but McCarthy made another diving snag just in front of the goal line on shot from junior Jose Manel.
- The Rams eventually added an insurance score five minutes later when McCarthy attempted to clear the ball, which deflected off freshman Rahim Costa-Dorsey, who finished into the net for his second goal of the season.
- VCU took a 3-0 lead when Castillo netted his second goal with just over nine minutes to play. Belmar set a pass to Castillo, who launched a cross into the middle of the box, which deflected off McCarthy and over the goal line.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- VCU held a commanding 14-4 advantage in shots, including a 10-0 margin in shots on goal. The Rams also limited La Salle to just two shots through the first 83 minutes of the match.
- Senior Andrew Wells posted his third straight shutout, fourth in his last five outings and sixth overall this season. The Richmond, Va., native has allowed just one goal in his last five-plus games, spanning more than 523 minutes.
- Castillo registered his first multi-goal effort of the season, and his third game-winning tally.
- Costa-Dorsey netted his second goal in his last five matches.
- Eight different Rams fired a shot with Castillo and Herrera Meraz collecting a team-high three apiece.
WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU travels to Saint Joseph's on Sunday, Oct. 27 for a 1 p.m. kickoff against the Hawks. The Rams return to Sports Backers Stadium for their final two home matches of the season beginning against Old Dominion on Oct. 30. VCU then closes out its home slate against Fordham on Nov. 3.