The Collegian
Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Field hockey clinches No. 2 seed for A-10 tournament

Megan Thompson, '10, and Christin Hanley, '11
Megan Thompson, '10, and Christin Hanley, '11

The University of Richmond's women's field hockey team clinched the second seed in the Atlantic-10 tournament with two wins this weekend.

Junior Megan Thompson scored two goals, including her fourth game-winning goal in as many games, as the Spiders defeated LaSalle University 4-1 on Friday. Thompson, who was named A-10 Player of the Week last week, has scored eight goals in the team's last six games and has 10 goals and 24 points this season.

"I'm happy with my performances over the last several games," Thompson said. "As great as they were though, I try not to think about it because when it comes down to it, I was only doing my job.

"I know what I am capable of and I just want to stay focused and be able to bring that kind of play and goal-scoring to our last two games, and especially to the tournament."

Sophomores Dani Pycroft and Hannah Hess also scored during Saturday's game and senior goalkeeper Becca Weaver had 11 saves for the Spiders.

Sunday, it was freshman Katelin Peterson who led the Spiders, scoring four goals in 10 minutes, six seconds during the Spiders' 5-1 win over West Chester University. The four-goal scoring spree tied a school record for most goals scored in a single game, and put Peterson, who had six goals before the West Chester game, into a tie with Thompson for most goals this season. The performance also earned Peterson this week's A-10 Player of the Week title, the fourth time a Spider has received the honor this season. Peterson is also this week's A-10 Rookie of the Week, a title she has earned three times this year.

"Katelin Peterson had a great game scoring some great goals and our defense all around had a spectacular game," Thompson said of the game at West Chester.

Pycroft also scored a goal against West Chester, her third of the season. Senior Captain Alex Malatesta had two assists, giving her 51 career points. Malatesta needs just two more points to earn a spot on Richmond's all-time career points list.

"Our team was very psyched about this weekend," Thompson said. "These two games were crucial for our post-season play and we are all very happy. It's always great to have a successful away trip.

"It was short-lived, though, as great victories are. We cannot think about them too long because there is always another game coming up that we need to prepare for."

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Peterson said, "This weekend was a great reflection of our team's commitment to each other and our goals for this program." She also said many of the players families had attended the game, including her own father, who flew from California.

The Spiders have now won five straight games, and this weekend's wins bring the team's record to 8-9 overall and 4-1 in the Atlantic 10. The team's only conference loss came in a 3-1 contest with the University of Massachusetts on Oct. 10. Massachusetts, last year's A-10 champions, went on to clinch the regular season A-10 Conference Title and the first seed in the A-10 Championship with a win over Temple on penalty strokes this weekend.

Last year, the Spiders, led by head coach Gina Lucido, lost to Massachusetts during the semi-final round of the A-10 Tournament, and finished third overall.

This year, Thompson said the team was "very happy" with the No. 2 seed, and said she was confident that the team would perform well during the tournament and see a lot of post season play.

Peterson was also excited about the seed. "I feel that it is a great opportunity to show who we are as a program and how far we've come," she said.

The Spiders have two regular season games before the A-10 Championship, which will be played Nov. 7 and 8 at Temple University. The team will play a conference game at Saint Louis University on Saturday followed by a game against Ohio University, which will also be played in Missouri, on Sunday.

"To prepare, we've just been listening to the coaching staff, keeping up with our conditioning and making sure that we are focused on what we need to accomplish," Peterson said. "Each player on this team contributes to our success and so every practice we make sure to push each other very hard with the expectation that each girl will be souled out ... giving 1000 percent."

Thompson said: "Going into this weekend, we just want to focus on St. Louis. All season we went one game at a time and we're not about to change that now. Once the weekend is over we will begin our preparation for the A-10 Tournament."

Contact staff writer Emily Baltz at emily.baltz@richmond.edu

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