Santos, defense powers Rams past Fordham, advance to A-10 Championship

The Basics
Score: VCU 1, Fordham 0 
Records: VCU (7-9-4, 3-2-3), Fordham (7-8-4, 4-3-1)
Location: Atlantic 10 Semifinals – George Mason Stadium – Fairfax, Va.
The Short Story: Behind a goal from sophomore Rafael Andrade Santos and a solid defensive performance, the VCU Men's Soccer team defeated Fordham, 1-0 to advance to the Atlantic 10 Championship game on Sunday. 

Rafa's Goal | Robert's Defensive Save | Robert's 2nd Defensive Save

How It Happened

  • VCU looked to get on the board early with Ivan Sakou blasting a shot in the tenth minute, but the Fordham keeper, Rashid Nuhu tipped it out. Fordham responded with a shot a minute later, but it went high.
  • In the 37th minute, Fordham's Janos Loebe looked to find the back of the net, but his shot sailed high.
  • Eli Lockaby looked to put VCU on the board as time winded down in the first half, but Nuhu stopped his shot in the 43rd minute.
  • With less than a minute remaining in the first half, Santos fired a shot from 20 yards out to give the Rams a 1-0 lead going into the break.
  • A Fordham corner kick found its way in the box in the 53rd minute, but RJ Roberts came up with a huge defensive save, clearing the ball to preserve the 1-0 lead.
  • Fordham's Eric Ohlendorf looked for the equalizer with a header in the 62nd minute, but Pierre Gardan was there with a great save.
  • Another Fordham corner kick in the 79th minute, but the Rams defense continued their clutch performance, clearing the ball out of danger. 
  • Fordham continued to threaten down to the wire, but VCU was able to hold them off and secure their way into the title game. 

Noteworthy

  • With tonight's goal, Santos has scored two goals in the A-10 Tournament. He is now tied with Jorge Herranz for the team lead of five goals. 
  • Gardan has now registered eight shutouts this season.

Quotable

  • "It was a gritty hard fought win against a good and extremely well coached Fordham team. I was disappointed in our ability at the end of the game to kill it out against a team that was throwing everything forward, but to be fair to the players we have a ton of new guys in the lineup and we haven't been in that situation yet this year." - Head Coach Dave Giffard
  • "I'd like us to be bale to learn from that situation and from a few others as we advance to Sunday." -Head Coach Dave Giffard

Up Next

  • The Rams will face Dayton in the Atlantic 10 Championship match on Sunday. Kickoff is slated 12:00 p.m. and will be televised nationally on American Sports Network.