October 16, 2011

VCU BATTLES DREXEL TO SCORLESS DRAW

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – A pair of overtimes wasn't enough to decide a winner on Sunday as VCU battled Drexel to a scoreless draw in Colonial Athletic Association action.  The Rams continued to shine defensively as the unit has allowed just one goal in the last 663 minutes, a stretch of six straight games without a loss.

Ten different Rams attempted a shot with sophomore Courtney Conrad and senior Heather Hovanesian contributing a game-high five apiece.  Drexel goalkeeper Eve Badana made 11 saves against VCU's 24-shot attack as the Black & Gold outshot the Dragons 24-12.

"We have to give Drexel credit for their work ethic today," said VCU Co-Head Coach Tim Sahaydak.  "They were able to disrupt the rhythm of our play.  The positive thing was that we created some very dangerous chances towards the end of the match.  We were inches and minutes from getting the results this weekend so that stings, but the overall performance was good in many areas.  We're confident and looking forward to getting back home to Sports Backers to close out the conference season."

The Rams were on the attack early, firing four shots less than 10 minutes into the contest.  A pair of Cristin Granados looks were blocked before Badana made a save on a shot by Conrad at the 9:20 mark.  Junior Gabby Wilson followed with an offering that sailed wide.

Badana later made a save on a shot by sophomore Bex Kunz in the 22nd minute.  Drexel would counter seven minutes later but Rams junior keeper Kristin Carden collected her first save of the match before making another stop on a shot by Jenna Lindsay in the 30th minute of play.

Conrad had two more looks the remainder of the half but VCU, which held a narrow 7-5 advantage in shots during the opening stanza, battled Drexel to a scoreless tie at intermission.

Both teams had a pair of chances early in the second half.  Sam Greenfield's shot less than 30 seconds in went wide before her second attempt hit the crossbar three minutes later.  Meanwhile, Conrad's offering was blocked in the 47th minute before Badana made a save on a shot by Hovanesian at the 51:15 mark.

Hovanesian had another look three minutes later but it sailed high of the net.  Senior Azania and junior Karol Sanchez also fired shots over the next 10 minutes but both were blocked.

Carden then made her third save of the game on a strike by Biz Mata in the 67th minute and another by Jess Lowinger with less than 20 minutes left.  Badana returned the favor with a trio of saves on shots by senior Jessica McNamara in the 74th minute, Hovanesian in the 81st minute and Granados in the 85th minute.

Perhaps Badana's biggest save, however, would come with less than four minutes to go in regulation as she saved a penalty kick by senior Meaghan Dullea.  Dullea had converted all three of her PK's this season entering Sunday's match.

The Dragons' backline then came up with a team save on a shot by Conrad inside 1:30 to play before Hovanesian's attempt was blocked with a minute remaining to force overtime.

VCU continued to pressure and forced Badana to make a pair of saves through the first three minutes of the first OT.  Drexel later had a chance with time winding down but Megan Hammaker's shot hit the post with less than 20 seconds to go, which forced double OT.

Azania hit the crossbar in the 104th minute and Badana made saves on two shots by senior Molly Allen – the first a minute later and the second with less than three minutes to go in the game.  Carden then made a stop on a strike by Alyssa Findlay inside a minute to go to keep Drexel off the board.

VCU closes out its regular season schedule with three-straight home matches at Sports Backers Stadium.  The Rams host Old Dominion on Friday, Oct. 21 at 7 p.m., before entertaining first-place William & Mary (Oct. 23) and James Madison (Oct. 28).

View: Mobile | Desktop