RICHMOND, Va. – Winston Churchill once said, "Continuous effort, not strength or intelligence, is the key to unlocking our potential."

That's exactly what the coaching staff for the VCU field hockey team was looking for out of their very young squad entering Saturday's exhibition contest with the Radford Highlanders.

The teams played three 25-minute periods and the Rams displayed some signs of greatness and some signs of being youthful.  In the end, the two teams ended with a 3-3 draw before the Black & Gold dominated the strokes, 7-3.

"Today was an important opportunity to have our newcomers and younger players get some key experience," Head Coach Kelly McQuade said. "Our forwards showed some flashes of brilliance today, but we still have a lot to work on heading into a critical week before our season starts on Friday."

Junior Kelsey Scherrer (pictured, main), sophomore Emilie Soares and freshman Kendall Combs (pictured, right) all notched a goal and an assist to lead the offensive attack for VCU. Scherrer (Second Team) and Soares (All-Rookie) both earned All-CAA accolades last season.

The scoring started quickly for the Black & Gold as Scherrer got loose inside the circle and found the back of the cage in just the third minute of the contest.

Radford would answer though with goals from Courtney Pool and Caroline Hollerbach over the next 10 minutes to grab a 2-1 advantage after one period.

Just eight minutes into the second period, Scherrer raced down the right sideline and found Combs inside the circle, who fed Soares for the Rams' second goal of the afternoon.

Hollerbach haunted the Black & Gold once again in the 62nd minute as she put home a rebound to give Radford a 3-2 cushion.

The forwards would not let the Rams go quietly as Soares found Combs in the 68th minute to even the ledger at 3-3, which it stayed until the end of the third and final 25-minute period.

VCU's lone senior Erin Jablonski would get her time to shine in the strokes session as she picked up two saves to lead the Black & Gold to a 7-3 victory over the two sets of strokes.

The Rams open up their regular season slate next Friday against the University of Virginia, who finished the 2010 season as the third-ranked team in the country. Game time in Charlottesville is set for 5 p.m.