RAMS ADVANCE TO A-10 SEMIFINALS AFTER COMEBACK AND PENALTY SHOOTOUT

Final Score: VCU: 2, George Mason: 2 (VCU advances 4-3 on penalty kicks)
Location: Richmond, Va. (Sports Backers Stadium) 
Records: VCU: 7-7-3 (6-1-1, A-10), George Mason: 4-12-2 (3-5-0, A-10)

THE SHORT STORY 

VCU advances to the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament Semifinal round after defeating George Mason in a penalty kick shootout Saturday night at Sports Backers Stadium.  

QUICK FACTS

  • George Mason got on the board first with a goal in the 17th minute.
  • The Patriots scored again in the 33rd minute to take a 2-0 lead. 
  • Freshman Celio Pompeu (Sao Paulo, Brazil) cut the Patriots' lead in half in the 68th minute with his first goal of the season. 
  • VCU equalized at the death as senior Ryo Shimazaki (Kawasaki, Japan) converted a penalty kick with just 25 seconds left in the match. 
  • Two overtime periods were not enough to decide the match, so the squads went to a penalty kick shootout. 
  • VCU advanced after winning the penalty shootout, 4-3. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Patriots took a 1-0 lead, scoring against the run of play as they took advantage of one of their first truly threatening possessions of the match. George Mason took a shot from the right side of the box that was saved by Sequeira, but a streaking runner was there to punch the rebound in. 
  • Sophomore Fiorre Mane (Dakar, Senegal) fired VCU's first shot of the night near the penalty box, but it sailed above the cross bar.
  • One of the Rams' best looks of the first half came in the 28th minute. After senior Fortia Munts (Barcelona, Spain) won a corner, he served in a beautiful ball. Junior Biska Biyombo (Lumbumbashi, Democratic Republic of the Congo) got a head on it, but the shot clanged off the cross bar. 
  • George Mason increased its lead 2-0 in the 33rd minute after slotting the ball inside the near post after a cross in from the right side. 
  • VCU earned a pair of free kicks in dangerous spots in the last few minutes of the first frame. Munts stood over both and put each on frame, but the George Mason keeper was up to the task to keep the Rams off the board. 
  • The Rams came out of the halftime break hot, firing a couple of early shots to test the Patriots' defense. 
  • In the 52nd minute, Pompeu put another shot on target for VCU, but his attempt fell into the arms of the George Mason keeper. 
  • Another good look came for VCU in the 63rd minute as junior Oquin Robinson (Bull Bay, Jamaica) fired a rocket that forced an impressive diving save by the Patriots' keeper. 
  • The Rams cut the George Mason lead in half in the 68th minute. After VCU earned a free kick just outside the 18-yard box, Pompeu stood over the kick and bent a ball into the upper right corner of the net to cut the lead 2-1. 
  • Munts had a good look at an equalizer in the 83rd minute with a shot from the top of the box that forced yet another leaping save by the Patriots' keeper. 
  • George Mason was whistled for a foul in the 84th minute, giving VCU another free kick just outside the Box. Pompeu stood over it yet again, but his shot sailed just high this time. 
  • VCU equalized, 2-2, with just 25 seconds on the clock. The Rams were awarded a penalty after a foul in the box and Shimazaki calmly converted the penalty to send the game into overtime. 
  • Neither team was able to find a winner in either overtime period and the game would head to a penalty kick shootout. 
  • VCU advanced to the Atlantic 10 semifinal round, 4-3, on penalty kicks. Sequeira made one save and George Mason sent its fourth kick high. Senior Jared Valdes (Dunn Loring, Va.) buried the winning penalty. 

WHAT'S NEXT

VCU will head to the campus of Fordham University for the A-10 semifinals. The Rams will face the winner of No. 3 Dayton and No. 6 La Salle that will be played Sunday, Nov. 10. 

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