Under clear, sunny skies and 82-degree heat, the University of Richmond field hockey team defeated Longwood University, 5-2, on Saturday.
Three freshmen were among the five Richmond players that scored in the game. Freshman Avery Safford scored the first goal and was followed less than a minute later by freshman Taylor Deitrick, who scored a with an assist from junior Chelsea Davies. Davies later scored the third goal of the game with an assist from Safford.
The Spiders maintained the 3-0 lead until a penalty corner against Richmond allowed Longwood to score their first goal with just five minutes remaining in the first half.
In the second half, the Lancers came back determined, scoring their second goal within the first 10 minutes. The scoreboard remained at 3-2 until a timeout called by Richmond with less than 15 minutes remaining in the game.
Longwood's defensive strategies tested the Spiders, Spiders sophomore Rebecca Barry said.
"It was challenging for us to outlet against their press, but we made better use of it in the second half, which is why we scored more goals," she said.
The break must have paid off, as Richmond increased its lead to 4-2 when the game resumed with a breakaway goal shot by sophomore Blair Kline and assisted by Barry.
Kline's goal was a particular stride for the team, Richmond coach Gina Lucido said. Kline had been previously injured, and her shot marked her first career goal, Lucido said.
During the final 10 minutes, freshman Kerri McDonald scored the fifth goal unassisted, closing the game off.
The opponent's constant counter-attacking gave Richmond the opportunity to remain poised on the defensive end, Lucido said.
"The team showed maturity," she said, although they are still seeking to find an on-field chemistry. The team was a little disjointed from playing to its full capability, Lucido said.
Barry(cq) said, "By the time [the Atlantic 10] Conference rolls around, we want to play to our full potential.
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"It always good to get a win, but it's not about winning but about how we perform."
Lucido said, "The focus is not result-oriented but us becoming the best team possible," she said.
The Spiders will next play Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. on Sept. 28.
Contact reporter Mara LugoRudner at email@example.com
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