HARRISONBURG, Va. – Well known college basketball personality Al McGuire once said, "The best thing about freshman is that they become sophomores."
That quote can be related to nearly the entire Virginia Commonwealth University women's soccer team as the Rams will return all but one player from this year's squad that found themselves involved in 10 one-goal conference games this fall.
Unfortunately, the Black & Gold couldn't get a break and that trend continued on Friday evening in the season finale as VCU dropped a 2-1 road decision to perennial Colonial Athletic Association power, James Madison.
"We're a very young team and we've had a tendency to come out slow in some games. That's exactly what happened tonight and JMU was able to capitalize," Co-Head Coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak said. "I'm extremely proud of the way our girls continued to work throughout the year no matter what adversity they faced. As a coaching staff, we are extremely excited about the future of VCU women's soccer."
The Dukes would come out aggressive, firing five shots and picking up three corners in the first 12 minutes of action. The pressure would finally led to a goal for JMU when Teresa Rynier found Kelly Germain for a blast from nine yards and a 1-0 lead for the home team.
VCU's talented back line would stage off any other chances for the Dukes as the score remained 1-0 heading into the second half.
The Rams would come out firing in the second stanza, unleashing five shots in the first 10 minutes, compared to getting off just one in the first half.
"I'm proud of the way our girls responded in the second half," Roberts Sahaydak said. "We challenged them to really come out aggressive in the final 45 and we were able to do that."
VCU's tough luck would continue as Germain would strike again, redirecting a shot from Rynier in the 58th minute to push the JMU lead to 2-0.
The Black & Gold would bounce right back and continue the second half pressure and made it a one-goal game when junior Meghan Dullea gathered a loose ball in the box and fired a shot into the back of the net to make it a 2-1 game.
Junior Carly Edgcomb would nearly even the score less than a minute later, but JMU's veteran keeper Diane Wszalek was able to pick up the save and preserve the win for the Dukes.
Senior Myriam Bouchard saw her prestigious career in the Black & Gold conclude with the loss as she wraps up her four-year stint at VCU as one of the finest defenders to ever represent the Rams.