Mason men’s soccer game ends in scoreless deadlock against VCU

Mason goalkeeper Steffen Kraus tallied his fifth shutout of the season against VCU (photo by Gopi Raghu).
Mason goalkeeper Steffen Kraus tallied his fifth shutout of the season against VCU (photo by Gopi Raghu).

Mason men’s soccer tied Virginia Commonwealth University in a 0-0 draw on Sunday at George Mason Stadium. The VCU Rams looked to build on their four-game winning streak, but despite their efforts Mason held them scoreless through regulation and two overtime periods.

Mason came out strong in the first half, playing excellent defense and had several quality scoring chances. The match ebbed back and forth, as neither team could get a clear advantage. The Rams and Patriots were both aggressive in the beginning, probing both defenses, trying to find a weakness.

VCU’s best scoring chance came in the 32nd minute after a Mason foul when VCU midfielder Nate Shiffman had a dangerous opportunity for a free kick in Mason’s defending third. In the confusion that followed, the ball found the back of the net after a bounce off of VCU midfielder Devon Fisher. However, the shot was called offside.

The second half was more of the same, featuring strong defense and tremendous goalkeeping on both sides. Neither team could gain a clear advantage in the second half, as both defenses held, forcing two overtime periods.

In the second overtime, the Rams made a strong push, but the Mason defense held strong.

Mason goalkeeper Steffen Kraus had five total saves in the game and VCU goalkeeper Andrew Wells had seven. Both keepers were on top of their game, showing off their versatility and athleticism, being able to make diving saves to their left and right sides.

It was a physical match with 11 fouls committed by Mason and 13 committed by VCU. There were also several cards awarded to both teams in the second half. Mason outshot VCU 12-11 in the game.

The draw moves Mason’s record to 6-2-2 overall and 1-0-1 in Atlantic 10 conference play. VCU is now 7-4-2 overall and 2-0-1 in conference play.

Mason’s next matchup is against Saint Joseph’s on Friday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. in Philadelphia. The team will return home to face LaSalle on Sunday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. at George Mason Stadium. 

Here are the postgame interviews with Steffen Kraus and head coach Greg Andrulis:

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