FINAL: No. 1 Dayton 5, No. 8 VCU 4 – Final (Richmond, Va. – Sports Backers Stadium)
RECORDS: Dayton (13-5-1), VCU (8-8-3)
VCU STARTERS: #18 Kruse (GK), #2 Krasko, #5 Smith, #6 Ritter, #7 Kunz, #8 Conrad, #10 Cressy, #32 Boyer, #33 Johansen, #35 Gogolin, #37 Moik
DAYTON STARTERS: #1 James (GK), #2 Keller, #8 Campbell, #10 O'Malley, #11 Klinefelter, #12 Libertin, #14 Waters, #19 Senoyuit, #25 Scharer, #29 Herr, #30 Emery
- VCU mounted a furious second half rally with three goals during a 15-minute stretch but top-seeded Dayton held on to defeat the Rams, 5-4, in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship Thursday evening at Sports Backers Stadium.
- The Black and Gold nearly erased a 4-1 halftime deficit, outshooting the Flyers 12-10 in the second half, including an 8-4 edge in the final 28 minutes.
- Dayton, which picked up its 10th win in its last 11 matches, is 11-1-1 since Sept. 13.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- VCU took an early lead when senior Courtney Conrad found the net in the eighth minute. The Dartmouth, Nova Scotia native, who took a cross from sophomore Natalie Moik from the left side of the box, sent a volley past Dayton goalkeeper Elizabeth James from about eight yards out for a 1-0 lead.
- However, Dayton answered with two goals during a five-minute stretch to move ahead for good. Ashley Campbell, who recorded a hat trick, put the Flyers on the board in the 22nd minute before Nicole Waters gave her squad a 2-1 advantage in the 27th minute.
- Freshman Dallas Smith had a look that sailed wide for VCU in the 38th minute before Dayton found the net twice during the final two minutes of the opening stanza to claim a 4-1 lead at intermission.
- The Flyers made it a four-goal game when Campbell posted her third score of the match in the 53rd minute before VCU began to mount its furious comeback.
- Junior Maren Johansen scored her team-high tying fifth goal of the season in the 60th minute when she fired back the rebound off a Conrad deflection, which cut VCU's deficit to 5-2.
- Senior Casey Boyer continued the Rams' rally, and took advantage of an opportunity off a Moik corner kick three minutes later when her header snuck past a series of Dayton defenders.
- VCU continued to push and eventually cut its deficit to 5-4 in the 75th minute when sophomore Olivia Defelice netted her first career goal. Senior Jessie Krasko sent a cross from the left wing to Defelice in the middle of the box, where she turned and launched a strike past James into the center of the net.
- The Rams remained on the attack, firing eight of the final 12 shots of the match, including another look from Defelice, which was saved by a Dayton defender in the 84th minute. The Flyers also came up with a team save on a strike from junior Alex Gogolin with less than six minutes to play.
- Gogolin tried to tie it again in the 86th minute but her header off another Moik corner kick drifted high.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- Dayton held a 21-16 advantage in shots, including a 12-9 edge in shots on goal.
- Sophomore goalkeeper Emma Kruse registered five saves in net for VCU.
- Four different players scored for VCU, while nine different Rams registered a shot.
- Moik tallied a game-high tying two assists, while Conrad collected her sixth of the season.