After shutting out the top-ranked team in the nation through the first half, the University of Richmond field hockey team gave up a pair of goals during the second. In only its second home game of the season, the Spiders fell 2-0 to Old Dominion University on Friday evening.
The Monarchs came to Crenshaw Field undefeated with 10 victories, including wins against University of Maryland and University of North Carolina, both of which had been ranked No. 1 at the time.
"We had a game plan that we wanted to execute and we were trying to generate an attack off feeding from great defense," Richmond coach Gina Lucido said. "The team knew, out of respect, you're playing the best team in the country, so if they don't score, you're going to have a much better chance at capitalizing on your opportunities."
The Spiders' game plan worked in the first half thanks to a solid defensive effort led by senior backer Emily Straniero and sophomore goalkeeper Anna Zarkoski, who finished with nine saves.
"We know we're a good team and forced them to work for it," Zarkoski said. "Our team's biggest trait is being united and we did just that."
The Monarchs' first goal came two minutes into the second half off a penalty corner. The ball bounced around a bit in front of the goal before Lydia Velzian settled it and fed Rebecca Condie for the goal.
About 15 minutes later, Old Dominion was awarded another penalty corner and Danielle Clutter found the back of the net off an assist from Christy Longacre.
Richmond's first penalty corner didn't come until five minutes remained in the game.
With the loss, the Spiders fell to 5-5 on the season and 1-1 at home. The team played its first seven games away waiting for the new turf to be laid down.
"We're so happy to be back on our home turf," Zarkoski said. "It's nice to be able to wear a Richmond jersey at Richmond."
Lucido said: "There's a new sense of home pride in our program and that's been great to see just with the new turf and playing well, getting a great victory here in the first game. I think the team's really responding to being at home and having fans behind them and just kinda making a statement, you know that you don't just come into our field and dominate play against us."
Up next for the Spiders is a trip to Williamsburg, Va., to face William & Mary Sunday.
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Game Notes: Freshman backer Aubrey Hunt sang "The National Anthem" before the game... It rained for a brief time during the middle of the second half... This loss is the Spiders' first by more than a single goal.
Contact staff writer David Weissman at firstname.lastname@example.org
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