Final Score: #2 Fordham 0, #5 VCU 0 (2OT) (Fordham 3-2 in PK's)
Location: Alumni Soccer Stadium (Davidson, N.C.)
Records: VCU 8-9-4 (4-3-1), Fordham 11-6-3 (5-2-1)
The Short Story: It would take 110 minutes of play and penalty kicks to decide an Atlantic 10 Conference champion on Sunday afternoon between the second-seeded Fordham Rams and the fifth-seeded VCU Rams. Unfortunately for the Black and Gold, it would be stellar play in the PK's from Fordham goaltender Rashid Nuhu that would give Fordham the 3-2 win and A-10 title.
- About every stat was even between the two games, giving a direct look into the results on the scoreboard. Each team recorded 12 fouls and two saves on the match, while VCU held a slight 11-10 shot advantage. Fordham would take a slight advantage with seven corner kicks to VCU's four.
- Brandon Eaton would lead the way with six total shots on net, while Jorge Herranz would grab two.
- Dakota Barnathan, Francesco Amorosino, and Luc Fatton would each get one shot a piece in the contest.
- Goalie Pierre Gardan would grab his fourth tie of the year, making two saves in the contest.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Gardan would get tested early, as Fordham would get a solid header opportunity just outside the six-yard box. However, Gardan would get his hands on it and make the save.
- In the 25th minute, VCU found itself in the offensive end, and came out with three opportunities to put the ball in the net. Both Brandon Eaton and Dakota Barnathan would get shots, while a cross into the six was deflected out.
- Francesco Amorosino got a solid shot in the following possession, which would be the Black & Gold's first shot on goal for the match.
- Both sides fought hard with the second half underway. Each side refused to give an inch through the chunk of play between the 50th and 90th minutes of the game. Physicality became a common theme with three yellow cards during that span.
- Fordham almost broke it open in the 85th minute, as a header from Eric Ohlendorf was a wide open look from inside the six. Ohlendorf had broke free behind the VCU defense, giving him the good look but would knock it high.
- Each team would get a shot apiece in the first half, and things would stay 0-0 through 100 minutes. Not much else would change through the final 10 minutes, as things would stay scoreless through 110 minutes. A big diving save by Pierre Gardan with two minutes to go in the second overtime would keep things scoreless. That would send the match to penalty kicks.
- VCU would kick first in the penalty kicks, as Steven Dal Molin connected with the first attempt. Fordham would match it, putting things to 1-1.
- VCU would have their next two attempts from Dakota Barnathan and Jorge Herranz stopped. Going into the fourth kickers, Fordham had a 2-1 advantage.
- Greg Boehme would strike to tie things at 2-2, but Fordham would get a goal on their fourth kicker to go up 3-2. Going into the fifth and final kickers, VCU needed a goal from Eli Lockaby to keep their hopes alive. However, his attempt would get stopped and Fordham would take the win.
COACH ON THE GAME
"Today was very tough. I want to start by saying congratulations to Fordham and their staff on a very well played game. Our players played their hearts out not just this week, but all season long. This time of year, games have to be decided somehow and unfortunately sometimes they go to penalties.
All credit has to go to Fordham's goalkeeper for making three saves in pk's and playing very well during the game as well. Individual plays win games and today he made the ones he had to make.
We say good bye to a tremendous group of seniors, who have left their mark on VCU and on our program. However, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. We have a very strong group of returners and will get back to work right away to make sure that we get to play deeper into the post season next fall."