Junior Megan Thompson not only gave the University of Richmond field hockey team a 3-2 overtime win against crosstown rival Virginia Commonwealth University, she also gave the team much-needed momentum headed into a critical weekend of games versus Atlantic 10 opponents.
Thompson scored two crucial goals. The first tied the game during the 65th minute of play, while the second -- and fifth of the season -- won the game during the 72nd minute. The game-winning goal was off of a breakaway. Sophomore Dani Pycroft assisted on the first goal and junior Sarah Blythe-Wood set up the overtime winner.
"This was definitely one of the most memorable games [for me]," Thompson said. "[On the breakaway] I was thinking 'I'm going to blow right by you right now and score.'"
Thompson did just that and improved the Spiders' record to 4-9 (0-1 in the A-10), while the Rams dropped to 4-10. Thompson received a yellow card earlier in the game for an intentional foul on a VCU player.
The Spiders had played their last five games versus nationally ranked opponents, winning only one of those games. The last of the five was against A-10 rival University of Massachusetts, who was ranked 17th in the country.
"The win was very crucial in setting momentum for our A-10 weekend," Richmond coach Gina Lucido said. "It established pride and sent a message to people that they can't walk on our home field and beat us."
The next two games for Richmond will be at home, versus Saint Joseph's University on Friday and Temple University on Sunday. Both of those are A-10 teams.
Blythe-Wood gave Richmond an early 1-0 lead during the 11th minute with her fifth goal of the season, tying her for team lead with freshman Katelin Peterson. The goal was unassisted.
VCU took control of the game during the second half when they scored two goals. The first was by sophomore Marle van Dessel during the 45th minute, with an assist from freshman Meg Thaxton. Sophomore Rosan van Eijkelenburg put the Rams up 2-1 with a goal during the 53rd minute of play. The goal was set up off a corner and assists went to senior Alaina Vernetti and sophomore Flore van Dessel.
The win showed the Spiders' determination to achieve their pre-season goal of winning the A-10 title.
"Pulling this out in overtime," Lucido said, "it shows that this team is resilient. They are committed to finding a way to win. We've been in pursuit of an A-10 championship since pre-season, and this was another step towards that."
Contact staff writer Andrew Prezioso at firstname.lastname@example.org
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