SIAD HAJI GAME-WINNER LIFTS RAMS PAST SANTA CLARA

Final Score:  VCU 1, Santa Clara 0 (OT)

Location: Richmond, Va. (Sports Backers Stadium)

Records: VCU (3-1-0), Santa Clara (1-3-0) 

The Short Story: Junior midfielder Siad Haji scored the game-winning goal in the 97th minute to lift VCU over Santa Clara Sunday in overtime.

QUICK FACTS

  • Sunday's match marked the second straight in which Haji provided the lone goal to lift VCU to a win. He also scored the only tally in the Rams' 1-0 triumph over Temple Friday
  • Sophomore Mario Sequeira made three saves in goal for the Rams, earning his second consecutive clean sheet.
  • The Rams piled up a 22-10 shot advantage, including a 9-3 edge in shots on goal.
  • Redshit senior Eli Lockaby took four shots, and had a team leading three shots on goal.
  • VCU held a 7-2 advantage in corner kicks.
  • The win marked the third straight for VCU, which has outscored its opponents 5-0 during that span.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • In the 97th minute, junior defender Ryo Shimazaki fired a hard shot from just outside the box. The Santa Clara keeper knocked the shot down, but the ball rolled out to Haji at the 18, who one-timed it for the winner.
  • Haji shot a rocket in the 35th minute that went just wide right.
  • Lockaby made a great run in the 41st minute, slipping between two Santa Clara defenders before taking a shot that wound up being saved by the Broncos keeper.
  • Haji played a beautiful through ball to Biska Biyombo in the 57th minute. The pass set Biyombo up for a chance, but he was called offsides. 

HEAD COACH DAVE GIFFARD

"I was proud of the boys tonight for their effort and attention to detail in some areas that we needed to grow in from the opening three games. We moved the ball pretty well and created more prolonged and dangerous attacking sequences. We also did a better job of sealing the play and not letting the opposition out of their end. We still have a long way to go, but it was a good step tonight. "

WHAT'S NEXT
VCU travels to Bloomington, Ind. for a matchup with Indiana at 7 p.m. on Friday Sept. 7.

ODU SOCCER CLASSIC TOURNAMENT

After both Sunday night matches, VCU won the ODU Soccer Classic Tournament Championship. Siad Haji was honored with the tournament MVP. Haji, Ulrik Edvardsen, Peter Pearson, and Eli Lockaby were honored with being apart of the All-Tournament Team.