In a game about as evenly matched as possible, the University of Richmond field hockey team fell to division foe UMass 2-1 in overtime on Sunday.
With 5:24 left during the first overtime period, Minutewomen defender Thando Zono took a pass from senior midfielder Makaela Potts and drove home the game-winning. It was Zono's second goal of the game and left the Spiders with their second Atlantic 10 loss on the year.
"We knew coming in that it was probably going to come down to the wire," said Richmond head coach Gino Lucido. "It's just unfortunate that when you get to overtime, the ball can roll either way and it's just been frustrating because this year, we haven't been able to make it [go our way]."
After fighting to a stalemate in the first half, both teams exchanged goals in the second. The Spiders took the lead with 28:38 left in the half, as a corner ended in senior Hannah Hess feeding forward Dani Pycroft for the score. Pycroft's rocket of a shot ended up just on the inside of the net off the top crossbar.
Pycroft said, "They had seen a few of our corners [in the first half] so we switched it up and then I just open-bladed the shot and the goalkeeper tipped it and it went in."
The Minutewomen didn't take long to answer, earning a corner of their own shortly thereafter. With 25:03 left, junior Nikki Panciocco accepted the corner and passed it off to Zono, who put the ball in the left corner of the net.
UMass proceeded to threaten several more times during the half, including just three minutes after its first goal, in which a diving save by freshman goalkeeper Anna Zarkoski was needed to keep the game tied.
Richmond's biggest chance came with about 3 minutes left in the game, when freshman Chelsea Davies found herself on a fast break one on one with the UMass goalkeeper, but had the ball knocked away from behind at the last second.
The loss drops Richmond to 6-9 (1-2 in A-10 play) overall, while the win puts UMass at 9-6. The Spiders will next head to Pennsylvania to take on West Chester in another division matchup.
"The area we need to improve on the most is definitely our finishing," Pycroft said. "We've stepped up our defense so we're leading with our defense. It's small things and we can get those down before A10 championships and hopefully go forward from there."
Pycroft's goal was her team leading seventh on the season.
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Seven of Richmond's 15 games this year have been decided by one goal.
Richmond outshot UMass 16-13.
Contact reporter David Weissman at email@example.com.
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