By: Noah Fleischman
No. 2 Women’s Soccer __ No. 7 George Washington in the A-10 Quarterfinal at Sports Backers Stadium despite being without senior goalkeeper Audrey Sanderson for the match.
The Black and Gold struck first in the match as _ _ Kelly Graves beat the GW goalkeeper to the right post on a breakaway after intercepting a bad pass from the Colonials in the fourth minute. The tally marked Graves’ sixth goal of the season for the Rams.
The Colonials knotted the match up at one as Sofia Pavon caught redshirt goalkeeper Grace Young out of position in the 28th minute.
At the halftime break both teams were knotted up on the scoreboard and in many statistical categories as well. The Rams and Colonials both had five shots and three on goal.
Graves found the back of the net again as she shot from outside the 18-yard box and rocketed a shot past the GW goalkeeper in the 53rd minute to give the Rams a one-goal advantage.
“Kelly has been amazing for us this year,” VCU head coach Lindsey Martin said. “It’s all coming together for her, she’s always worked hard throughout her career. This season it seems like everything is clicking for her and offensively on the stat sheet has been a huge help for us.”
VCU added another goal in the 83rd minute on a GW own goal after sophomore midfielder Samantha Jerabeck crossed it into the six-yard box.
“We were a little jittery at first,” Martin said. “It was just a big moment, especially being at home in front of your friends and family. Once we settled in we had a lot of good momentum in the first half. In the second half, going up it made us turn into a game where we got caught defending a little bit because you tend to sit back a little bit when you go up by a goal.”
Pavon cut the deficit to one, but a little too late as she scored her second goal of the match with two seconds left on the clock.
Young finished the match with _ saves on _ shots faced in her VCU debut between the posts.
“Grace did an excellent job to step up in that kind of moment and to play the way she did consistently for the 90 minutes, I am super pleased with her performance,” Martin said. “I know that we will be fine going to Dayton with her in the net.”