FINAL: VCU 2, No. 22 Saint Louis 1 (Richmond, Va. – Sports Backers Stadium)
RECORDS: VCU (4-4-1), Saint Louis (6-3-0)
VCU STARTERS: #21 Wells (GK), #2 Owusu, #3 Castillo, #7 Monge Solano, #10 Bowie, #12 Belmar, #16 Duffie, #18 Shiffman, #19 Keita, #23 Manel, #24 Fisher
SAINT LOUIS STARTERS: #1 Shackelford (GK), #2 Heskamp, #4 Manning, #5 Tyler David, #6 Bryce, #7 Sweetin, #11 Kristo, #12 Vizcaino, #16 Kohring, #19 Graydon, #23 Gieseke
- VCU scored twice in the final 17 minutes to knock off No. 22 Saint Louis 2-1 Sunday afternoon in a non-conference match at Sports Backers Stadium.
- Senior Garrett Harvey came off the bench and scored the equalizer in the 74th minute before junior Jose Manel netted the game-winner with five minutes to play.
- VCU improves to 3-1-1 against Top 25 teams this season, and is an impressive 6-2-1 against ranked opponents during the last two years.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Junior Kharlton Belmar fired a strike from the right wing in the fourth minute but Saint Louis goalkeeper Nick Shackelford made a save at the near post to keep VCU off the board early.
- Just over a minute later, Belmar lifted a cross inside the box where Manel sent a header high of the net.
- Alex Sweetin missed the far post on Saint Louis' first shot of the match in the 20th minute.
- After the Rams held the Billikens to just one shot through the majority of the first half, Saint Louis eventually took advantage of an opportunity in the 37th minute and pulled ahead 1-0. Senior goalkeeper Andrew Wells made a stop on Kingsley Bryce's point blank offering, which deflected back toward the middle of the box. David Graydon then fired back the deflection, which hit off a VCU defender at the goal line and into the near post.
- Graydon had a look again nearly five minutes later when his strike from about 25 yards out missed the far post.
- Sophomore Isaac Owusu fired a shot in the 60th minute but Shackelford made a diving stop to keep the Rams out of the net.
- Manel had a look eight minutes later but his strike sailed just wide of the left post.
- Harvey, who came off the bench four minutes earlier, took a cross from senior Nate Shiffman from the left wing and headed the ball past Shackelford to the left side netting to knot the match at 1-1 in the 74th minute.
- The Rams were at it again 11 minutes later when sophomore Devon Fisher sent a through ball to Manel, who cut to his right and fired to the upper right corner from 15 yards away to give VCU a 2-1 lead.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE:
- VCU outshot Saint Louis 11-7, and held the Billikens to just two second-half shots.
- Manel, who netted his first career game-winning goal, fired a game-high four shots. Meanwhile, Belmar and junior Ritchie Duffie finished with two shots apiece.
- Shiffman and Fisher both collected their first assists of the season.
- Wells made three saves in goal.
"I was proud of the boys for continuing to play and get after it after going down 1-0 in the first half. G-Harv [Garrett Harvey] came up with a big goal to level the score at one and then we found our second wind and got the winner through a good counter attack from Devon [Fisher] and [Jose] Manel. We spent this week trying to improve defensively on set pieces and trying to get the front four working to ask more questions of the other team. I think it paid off today as we were much better on set plays and we scored the winner off of Kharlton [Belmar] blocking a shot at one end and Devon and Manel attacking the space behind the team on a good counter. Now we get set for our first A-10 weekend against UMass and Rhode Island."
-VCU Head Coach Dave Giffard
WHAT'S AHEAD: VCU continues its four-game home stand on Friday, Oct. 11 when it opens A-10 play against UMass at 7:30 p.m. The Rams then host Rhode Island on Oct. 13 at Noon.