RICHMOND, Va. – The athletic training staff of the Virginia Commonwealth University women's soccer team may want to clear its schedule for the next couple days.
After Thursday night's battle with cross-town rival, Richmond, the Rams are going to need all the ice baths and rubdowns they can get as VCU picked up a 1-0 win in a physical, defensive battle.
"We know every time we face Richmond it's going to be a battle," Co-Head Coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. "It's exactly what we expected and I'm really proud of the way our girls responded."
From the start it was obvious that physical play was going to be allowed as both teams saw bodies flying everywhere with not many scoring chances for either side.
The Rams would tally a couple of early corner kicks, but each time Richmond keeper Melissa Pacheco was able to come off the line and break up the play.
Richmond would try to get the ball to their big scoring threat, Becca Wann, but senior Myriam Bouchard and the rest of the VCU back line was able to keep her in check all night, holding her to just one shot.
After playing to a scoreless tie in the first half, the Black & Gold came out aggressive in the second half with numerous chances within the first ten minutes, including a header off the crossbar by Bre White and a point-blank shot just wide by Bouchard.
VCU's patience finally came through in the 67th minute when Molly Allen gathered a ball at midfield, got past a defender, switched to her right foot and booted a perfect pass to White, who knocked home her fifth goal of the season.
"I had some space and was able to switch to my right foot, which is my dominant foot, and saw the opportunity with Bre up top," Allen said. "I'm just glad I was able to send a good ball and help us get the win."
The win marks the fourth shutout in the past five games for the Rams, who have allowed just one goal to the Spiders in the past six years.
Overall, VCU won the stat sheet battle with a 14-8 shot advantage and a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks.
The Black & Gold now return to VCU's Sports Backers Stadium on Sunday for its non-conference finale against the Phoenix of Elon University. Game time is set for 1 p.m.