VCU tops UMass in double overtime

By Matthew Zackman

After 106 minutes of scoreless soccer, the Virginia Commonwealth women’s soccer team finally capitalized.

Cade Belisle/ Collegian

Rams senior forward Courtney Conrad sent a through ball to  sophomore striker Kailyn Slade, who put the ball past Massachusetts  goalkeeper Danielle Kriscenski in double overtime to give the Rams a 1-0 win over the Minutewomen on Saturday at Rudd Field in the first ever meeting between the two schools.

UMass  coach Ed Matz believed it was a play that shouldn’t have even happened.

“We allowed the ball to come into one of their forwards,” Matz said. “We allowed her to cut in, we allowed her to turn and face the field, and our defender fell off a little bit and our center defenders allowed the ball to get slipped in there.”

Matz was pleased with the way his team played during regulation, saying, “we did a great job of being aggressive, of not allowing them to get the balls into their forwards and turning and facing us.” However, one bad play came as a result of a “couple mistakes” that UMass (5-6-1, 1-1 Atlantic 10) didn’t make in the first 106 minutes.

The Rams (6-4-1, 1-0 A10) controlled possession for the first 15 minutes of the game, but the Minutewomen still managed to put three shots on goal and remained aggressive throughout the first half to create some scoring opportunities.

VCU, on the other hand, put six shots on goal. However, VCU’s chances were smothered by the UMass defense, which in the 30th minute prevented two corner kicks from getting near the net. On the second corner kick, Kriscenski made a strong save as she leapt above what looked like a mound of VCU players to secure the ball.

Matz saw that moment as an example of how Kriscenski, who finished with seven saves, has developed as a goalie throughout her freshman season alone.

“A lot of the things that we did today…would not have been done at the beginning of the season, such as  [Kriscenski] coming out and winning balls that are 50/50 balls and colliding with a [VCU player],” Matz said.

Matz also noted growth amongst the rest of his team as “the backs were talking,” which improved “[the team’s] organization.”

Neither team dominated the first half of the game as the possession remained equal. However, both teams were incredibly aggressive as UMass amounted five fouls in the first 45 minutes of play.

Within the first few minutes of the second half, VCU had a close range opportunity to score on a shot by Conrad, but Kriscenski charged out of net, took away Conrad’s shooting angle and saved what would have likely been the game-winning goal.

A few minutes later, VCU received a penalty kick and had another opportunity to score, but Kriscenski made another leaping save to halt the Rams’ momentum.

Like VCU, UMass had many opportunities to score as it took 13 shots with junior Alyssa D’Arcy leading the team with four.

The Minutewomen had seven corner kicks in the game, but six-foot tall Rams defender Casey Boyer’s made her presence felt in front of the net.

“We had the opportunities, but [Boyer] was six-feet tall in there and she won a lot of those balls and when she didn’t win them, their goalkeeper did a good job for them coming out and getting them,” Matz said.

The Minutewomen continue A-10 play on Friday when they travel to Dayton.

 

Matthew Zackman can be reached at [email protected]