November 15, 2013

VCU Suffers Heartbreaking Overtime Loss to George Mason in A-10 Semifinals

FINAL: No. 2 George Mason 3, No. 3 VCU 2 – OT (A-10 Championship Semifinals – Dayton, Ohio)

RECORDS: George Mason (12-2-4), VCU (11-7-2)

VCU STARTERS: #21 Wells (GK), #3 Castillo, #4 Harvey, #8 Barnathan, #12 Belmar, #14 Herrera Meraz, #16 Duffie, #18 Shiffman, #19 Keita, #22 Costa-Dorsey, #23 Manel, #25 Bates

GEORGE MASON STARTERS: #18 Kraus (GK), #2 Haapaoja, #3 Washington, #4 Herstek, #6 Arjona, #7 Herrera, #8 Roberts, #9 Eckenrode, #11 Mulgrew, #13 Harmouhe, #16 Miller

THE BASICS:

  • Second-seeded George Mason scored 30 seconds into overtime and handed No. 3 VCU a heartbreaking 3-2 loss in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship Friday evening in Dayton, Ohio.
  • The former CAA rivals squared off for the second time this season as the Rams and Patriots battled to a scoreless tie on Oct. 20.

HOW IT HAPPENED:

  • George Mason held an early 4-3 advantage in shots before VCU pulled ahead in the 19th minute.  Senior Nate Shiffman launched a free kick from midfield into the box, where the ball took a bounce before sophomore Dennis Castillo volleyed a shot past Patriots goalkeeper Steffen Kraus to put the Rams ahead, 1-0.
  • Castillo had another look four minutes later but Kraus collected his first save.
  • Senior goalkeeper Andrew Wells made a snag on a header shot from Hugh Roberts in the 25th minute before George Mason eventually scored the equalizer two minutes later.  Julio Arjona sent a pass to Zach Herstek inside the six-yard box, where he snuck a header into the net to knot the match at 1-1.
  • Steffen came up with another stop on a shot off the foot of junior Kharlton Belmar in the 38th minute.
  • Senior Romena Bowie fired his first shot of the match in the 63rd minute but it was blocked.
  • The Patriots took the lead a minute later when Taylor Washington sent a cross to Ryan Harmouche, who finished into lower right corner from outside the box for a 2-1 advantage.
  • VCU countered in the 80th minute with a series of looks.  Castillo's first offering was blocked before Kraus made a stop on his second shot.  The Rams then took advantage of an opportunity on a corner kick by Shiffman less than 30 seconds later as Belmar placed a header into the front post to tie the match at 2-2.
  • Neither team could find the net the remainder of regulation but George Mason scored the game-winner 30 seconds into overtime when Timi Mulgrew headed a cross from Herstek into the right side of the net.

INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:

  • George Mason held a 17-14 advantage in shots, while both teams finished with five on goal.
  • Castillo, who scored his sixth goal of the season, collected a game-high four shots, three of which were on frame.  Meanwhile, 10 different Rams fired a shot in the match.
  • Belmar scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season.
  • Shiffman assisted on both of VCU's goals, his third and fourth of the year.

WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU will now wait to learn if it has another game on the 2013 schedule when the NCAA reveals its 48-team Championship field on Monday, Nov. 18 at Noon.  The selection show will air live on NCAA.com.  First round games begin Nov. 21.

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