Never in recent memory has a nationally ranked team lost because it could field six or fewer players.
But that's what happened to then-No. 7 UNC Greensboro Saturday night when
the Spartans' game against VCU was awarded to VCU in the 77th minute with the Rams leading, 3-1, after UNCG had its fifth player red carded.
The Spartans started the second half a
man down as referee Mike Stutt ejected Icelandic U-21 international Henning Jonasson in the 44th minute. Thomas Campbell was given a red card in the 53rd minute to put UNCG two men down. The
Spartans got on the board in the 59th minute when All-American Scott Jones nailed a free kick from 35 yards out to make the score 2-1. But two more Spartans, David Worthen and All-American Randi
Patterson, were given red cards in the 76th minute, and Jones was sent off in the 77th minute, leaving UNCG with only six players. Spartans assistant coach Justin Maullin also received a red
card at halftime.
Pat Viray had a goal and an assist to lead VCU. Ghanaian Fred Owusu Sekyere and Dutchman Matthijs Maruanaya also scored for the Rams.
"Our guys played
very well," said VCU coach Tim O'Sullivan. "I told them after the match that they represented themselves well and handled themselves well under difficult conditions."
The five red
cards were more than UNCG received in the last three years combined.