VCU Rams1

It's a good idea to keep these away from me.

It’s a good idea to keep these away from me.

I don’t spend much time talking about fundraising on here, mostly because I’ve never been very good at it. I once ate $18 worth of Caramellos, about half my inventory, that I was supposed to sell for Pony League baseball. I had to mow my grandmother’s lawn to pay myself back. I learned two things from the experience. No. 1, Caramellos are delicious. No. 2…what was I talking about?

Moving on. Thankfully, there are plenty of people in and around VCU Athletics who make sure we have the resources necessary to compete and provide an all-around excellent student-athlete experience. In recent years, a group of women close to the program has stepped up with an effort to carry the torch for women’s athletics here at VCU.

The annual VCU Women’s Golf Tournament, now in its second year, is a product of their efforts. In just two years, the tournament has become one of VCU’s largest fundraisers. Tremendous effort.

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Meanwhile, we’ve reached what is basically the midpoint for fall sports, and a few programs are starting to find themselves.

The VCU Women’s Soccer team opened the year with a slew of new faces and a tough non-conference slate. The Rams took some early lumps, but it appears those early trials are bearing fruit. The Rams have won three straight matches, including its first two Atlantic 10 Conference contests. During that span, the Rams (4-6-1) have outscored their opponents 11-2. Keep an eye on forwards Julia Suarez, a freshman, and Kaitlyn Slade. The duo has accounted for eight goals this season, half of the team’s total, and appears to be heating up. Slade recently recorded a hat trick.

The VCU Field Hockey team is also gaining traction. The Rams (4-6) have won three of four, including a pair with late-match heroics. If we were like college football and gave out helmet stickers for performance, I would be passing out ram horn stickies to sophomore Spencer Tossone, who provided not one, but two straight game-winning goals last week, and goalkeeper Chessa Kownurko, who made 13 saves – most by a VCU keeper this year – in a double overtime win over St. Francis (Pa.).

INTERMISSION
These kids have no time for football. Let’s dance.

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HOOPS STUFF
NBA training camps are underway, but we’re still looking for Treveon Graham and Troy Daniels appearances. Graham has not played in Utah’s first two preseason games – in part because it’s impossible to find minutes for 20 guys. Graham’s the free agent rookie here, so he’s going to have to fight for minutes in practice.

Daniels, meanwhile, has been hampered in training camp by a hamstring injury. He hasn’t practiced much, but he is on his way to China with the team. The Hornets will play the Clippers in a pair of exhibition games over there.

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When Daniels gets healthy, he’ll find an altered landscape in Charlotte’s backcourt. While Michael Kidd-Gilchrist’s season-ending shoulder injury is unfortunate, it’s reality, and Daniels will be contending for minutes at a position that is suddenly wide open.

Meanwhile, as we wait for Graham’s preseason debut, Slam just released this video of highlights from the Portsmouth Invitational this summer, where Graham earned MVP honors. We’re gonna go ahead and watch it now.

In other news, Will Wade held what was effectively the first VCU practice open to the media at Franklin Street Gym in about 10 years Tuesday. Plenty of good Tweets and whatnot from that, but here’s a couple of morsels to get the juices flowing.

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Finally, some bad news. Eric Maynor, who signed to play in Russia this year, tore his ACL seven minutes into his debut with Nizhny Novgorod. This is Maynor’s second ACL tear, and I know this feels like a gut punch to VCU fans out there, to say nothing of what Eric is probably feeling right now. We are all wishing Eric a speedy recovery.

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