Despite expectations that the Spiders would beat their opponents handily, Richmond women's lacrosse team faced a close game Friday afternoon.

The score remained tight for the duration of the match and ended with a Spider victory, 18-17, over George Washington University. Richmond coach Stephy Mantziaras said: "It was a really close game. Both teams clearly came to play." Neither the Spiders nor the Colonials ever held a lead greater than two goals.

Richmond's strong offense helped the Spiders survive. "Our attack was able to do what we normally do, which is great," Mantziaras said. The Spiders were consistent, scoring nine goals in each half.

Spider attackwomen Sam Stevenson and Caitlin Fifield led the way with five goals each.

"I think our attack was strongest today," Stevenson said. "We were a very powerful unit. We all looked for each other, and I think the draw was pretty crucial too."

"Both teams did a poor job taking care of the ball in the mid-field," Mantziaras said. "I think our team didn't bring any energy today, and we're lucky that lacrosse wise we have some more players who have better lacrosse skills than GW did."

Lacrosse skills were evident for the Spiders on the face-offs, as Mary Flowers came up with the draw ten times and Janie Penney nine times. The George Washington player with the most draws came up with just four.

"I think we need to improve on having both our attack and defense all on the same unit," Stevenson said. "The attack was up, and the defense was down so once we get on the same page, we'll be unstoppable.

"George Washington gave a good fight, and they were never backing down. At points, we kind of doubted ourselves, and George Washington was able to capitalize on that."

Mantziaras said, "George Washington did a really good job of exposing our defensive problems on the crease."

Richmond goalkeeper Victoria Roebuck was a bright spot for the Spider defense, coming up with 13 saves.

Stevenson said, "We still have some stuff to improve on to look forward to our A-10 championship win." The Atlantic 10 championship will take place April 27-29.

Contact staff writer Brennen Lutz at