FINAL: VCU 3, Richmond 1 (Richmond, Va.)
VCU Starters: #89 Carden (GK), #7 Kunz, #8 Conrad, #9 Granados, #10 Cressy, #12 Edgcomb, #15 Moore, #20 Acosta, #23 Hovanesian, #32 Boyer, and #33 Johansen
RICHMOND STARTERS: #99 Young (GK), #5 Alvarez, #7 Parisi, #9 Miller, #10 LeClair, #13 Smith, #15 Koczot, #19 Lybert, #20 Williams, #21 Wann and #25 Riefner
THE BASICS: Senior Wendy Acosta, who converted a pair of penalty kicks in the 12th and 74th minutes, and junior Courtney Conrad (53rd minute) scored three unanswered goals to push VCU past cross-town rival Richmond 3-1 on Friday night at Sports Backers Stadium.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Richmond (7-8-1, 3-3-1 A-10) began the match on the attack firing three shots in the first eight minutes. The Spiders' first chance came in the fifth minute when Natalie LeClair had a look, which was blocked. Crystal Koczot then fired back the rebound high.
- Three minutes later, Kristen Lybert put the Spiders in front 1-0. LeClair dished to Lybert in the box, who sent a shot through traffic into the right corner of the net.
- After Richmond went ahead, VCU's (10-4-3, 5-2-0) offense went to work. Conrad fired the Rams' first shot, but Richmond goalkeeper Andrea Young made the save.
- Following a foul in the box a minute later, Acosta converted her first penalty kick of the night, beating Young to the right.
- In the 43rd minute, the Spiders had a golden opportunity to regain the lead. Becca Wann sent a header toward the net following a corner, but Acosta cleared the ball away from the goal line to keep the game tied.
- The Rams eventually took the lead for the good in the 53rd minute. Sophomore Maren Johansen found Conrad in the box, where the Dartmouth, Nova Scotia native fired a shot off the left post and into the net.
- Richmond tried to get even in the 70th minute when LeClair had a chance in the box; however, senior goalkeeper Kristin Carden was there for her second save.
- The Spiders committed another foul in the box in the 74th minute, and Acosta converted her second PK, this time to the left.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- Prior to the match, VCU honored its nine seniors. The class has more than 30 wins in four seasons, including a run to the CAA Championship match in 2011.
- Acosta scored her eighth and ninth goals of the season, while Conrad added her 10th. Conrad's goal was also her fifth game-winning goal of the season.
- Johansen added her fourth assist.
- The Spiders held a 12-8 advantage in shots, but the Rams finished with an 8-4 edge in shots on goal.
- The result was VCU's 10th win of the season, surpassing last year's nine-win campaign. The 10 victories are the Rams' most since 2007 (11 wins).
- VCU has won three straight and five of its last six matches, outscoring its opponents 15-3 during that span.
"That was a great game and we're really proud of our team. [Both teams] battled and it was like a city championship. It was back and forth and both teams played well. Richmond is a tough team to beat… We won this game for our seniors. Our goal was to honor them with the win. It's a very loyal class, [they're] resilient and tough. They are just fighters and I'm glad we were able to give them that win tonight."
-VCU Co-Head Coach Tiffany Roberts Sahaydak
"Wendy showed great composure. She had a great game. Defensively, she was tough but to be able to put away two PKs in one game, that's a tough job to do. We're proud that she was able to do that."
-Roberts Sahaydak on the play of Wendy Acosta
"I'm just looking to help my team and do my best [when I line up to take a PK]. I don't think too much. I just want to help to my team."
-Senior Wendy Acosta on scoring two penalty kicks
The Rams conclude the 2012 regular season with road matches at Xavier (Oct. 26) and Dayton (Oct. 28). The Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament begins Nov. 1 in Kingston, R.I.