Sixth-Seeded Men's Soccer Takes on Second-Seeded VCU in Atlantic 10 Semifinals

Photo Credit: Mitchell Layton
Photo Credit: Mitchell Layton

#6 RHODE ISLAND vs. #2 VCU
Friday, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. - Baujan Field (Dayton, Ohio)
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The Basics

  • Sixth-seeded Rhode Island (10-5-3, 4-3-1 A-10) traveled to third-seeded George Washington and downed the Colonials 1-0 in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship. Senior Tyler Dickson scored the lone goal of the game while classmate Nils Leifhelm made six saves in his eighth shutout of the season.
  • The win advanced Rhody to the semifinals, where they will face second-seeded VCU.
  • Earlier this season when the teams met, Rhode Island took a 1-0 lead in the first half, but VCU netted a pair of second-half goals for the 2-1 win.
  • The Rams are 5-3-0 in A-10 tournament games under head coach Gareth Elliott. Last season, Rhody opened the tournament with a 3-1 victory over La Salle before falling to Fordham 4-0 in the semifinals. The Rams also advanced to the semifinals in 2015, as well as the A-10 title game in 2014.
  • During the regular season, URI went 2-3-0 against the 2017 Atlantic 10 Championship field. Rhody defeated #3 George Washington (2-1) and #7 St. Bonaventure (3-2). The Rams fell to #1 UMass (2-1 OT), #2 VCU (2-1) and #5 Fordham (2-0). Rhode Island did not face fourth-seeded Dayton or eighth-seeded Saint Louis this year.
  • Rhody is led offensively by junior Chae Brangman, who enters the postseason matchup with a team-best 19 points on eight goals and three assists.
  • Sophomore Stavros Zarokostas (5g/4a) and junior Dominik Richter (4g/4a) also have double-digit point totals with 14 and 12, respectively.
  • Sophomore Peder Kristiansen and junior Emil Jesman Sunde are tied for the team lead in assists, with six each.
  • Overall, 15 different players have recorded either a goal or an assist for the Rams.
  • Senior Nils Leifhelm has played all 1717:45 in goal for Rhode Island, posting eight shutouts and collecting three Atlantic 10 Defensive Player of the Week awards this season. He currently leads the nation in goalkeeper minutes played - with 7130:12 over his career - as well as career saves 325.
  • Senior Nils Leifhelm, juniors Chae Brangman and Dominik Richter and sophomore Peder Kristiansen all were named to the Atlantic 10 All-Conference Second Team. Leifhelm and Kristiansen also earned All-Academic honors, as did sophomore Niklas Middrup.

The VCU Series

  • VCU leads: 2-0
  • Last meeting: VCU defeated Rhody (2-1) on Oct. 28, 2017, in Richmond, Va.
  • Current Streak: VCU, two wins.
  • Rhode Island's last win: N/A
  • Of Note: Rhode Island and VCU have met just twice before. Both of those games - a pair of VCU wins - were played at VCU's Sports Backers Stadium.

Scouting the VCU Rams

  • VCU enters the game with an 11-5 overall record.
  • The Rams finished the regular season with a 6-2 record in A-10 games, earning the #2 seed for the conference championship.
  • VCU has now won five of their last six games. The lone loss during that stretch was a 2-1 defeat in the regular-season finale at St. Bonaventure (Nov. 1). Four days later, the Rams defeated St. Bonaventure, 4-1, in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Championship.
  • Rafael Santos, Francesco Amorosino and Luc Fatton have combined for 27 of VCU's 36 goals this season. Santos has found the back of the net 11 times while Amorosino and Fatton each have scored eight goals.
  • Said Haji leads the team in assists, with eight.
  • Mario Sequoia has logged 1316:09 in goal this season, posting an 11-2-0 record, a 0.75 goals against average and seven shutouts.