Typically performing the "dirty work" while their forward counterparts get the glory, defenders are rarely noteworthy as far as the box score is concerned. For the Spiders' game against Longwood University on Sunday, however, defender Catherine Ostoich made the most noteworthy play of the game.
With 5:20 left in a tied game, the sophomore took a pass from senior Hannah Hess and slammed it into the net from the outer edge of the box to put her team ahead 3-2. It was Ostoich's first career goal and proved to be the game-winner.
"I was actually just praying that my shot hit the goal, that I didn't whiff," Ostoich said. "Basically just praying I made it on cage."
After going into the half tied at one, the Spiders and Lancers exchanged goals midway through the second, with Longwood first taking the lead. At the 22:48 mark, Lancers' senior forward Lauren Sullivan accepted a pass from sophomore Christina Verhulst and shot it past the outstretched stick of the Richmond goalkeeper.
Moments later, the Spiders answered with 21:10 remaining, as a corner resulted in sophomore Liesl Schnuck feeding freshman Chelsea Davies for the equalizer. Control of the ball went back and forth from that point on until Ostoich's goal.
The win follows a tough 1-2 loss to division foe Lock Haven.
"[This game] was a huge momentum builder," Ostoich said. "We really needed this cause we just came off a tough loss, so this is definitely big going into our next set of [Atlantic 10 Conference] games."
Richmond coach Gina Lucido echoed her player's sentiments: "It puts us in the direction that we need to be going in. It's been kind of overdue a bit and it's great to see the hardwork paying off. It's something that you tell your team and that you believe in as a coach, but until the reality occurs, you can see that there's some lingering doubt. It really proves to the girls that their labor isn't in vein."
The Lancers took the early lead in this game with a goal from senior Lauren van de Kamp, her sixth of the season. Richmond waited until very late in the half before senior forward Dani Pycroft tied the game.
"We've needed to mature in being able to play for 70 minutes and being able to come out of lulls, which is inevitable," Lucido said. "We just talked [at the half] about staying mentally focused, sticking with our game plan, and then being able to read whatever Longwood was going to do to counter us."
The Spiders now head into the bulk of their conference schedule, heading next to Saint Louis University. The win leaves the Spiders with a 5-8 record, while the loss drops Longwood to 3-11.
Contact Collegian reporter David Weissman at email@example.com
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