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Sunday, September 27, 2020

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Field hockey wins A-10 Championship in overtime thriller

<p>Photo courtesy of the Atlantic 10 Conference. </p>

Photo courtesy of the Atlantic 10 Conference. 

The Spiders stormed the field and the crowd roared thunderously as Rebecca Barry scored the game’s lone goal in sudden-death overtime to beat Massachusetts in Saturday’s Atlantic-10 Championship matchup.

Barry dribbled toward the baseline and made a sharp cut back past the last UMass defender, then got off a hard backhanded shot that ricocheted off the goalie and into the net. The final play featured Barry, the senior A-10 Offensive Player of the Year matched up against Lauren Allymohamed, three-time A-10 Defensive Player of the Year, and Barry was the victor.

“I dribbled down toward the baseline, and I was against probably the best defender in the conference, and if I’m being 100 percent honest, I wasn’t expecting to score,” Barry said after the game. “I just wanted to get some sort of a shot off, but it went in and from there it’s a bit of a blur.”

UMass pressed Richmond hard for the duration of the game, but the Spiders still managed to rack up 10 shots compared to UMass’ four. Barry capitalized several minutes into the first sudden-death overtime, ending the game at 1-0.

This tightly contested game came on the heels of Richmond’s rout of Saint Francis the day before, in which five different Spiders scored in a 5-0 shutout of the Red Flash. The offense did not come nearly as easily against UMass, but the Spiders were came through when it counted.

The Spiders upset first-place UMass earlier in the season 1-0, but were not necessarily the favorites coming into Saturday’s matchup. Regardless, head coach Gina Lucido knew her team would come out on top.

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“The game really played out as I expected it would,” Lucido said. “I knew it was going to come down to the wire, and the team that had the will to win and finish the job was the team that capitalized and brought home the trophy.”

The Richmond crowd of about 200, which made its presence known on every Richmond scoring opportunity or nice defensive play, provided a home-field advantage for the Spiders. After the goal, the crowd broke out into its usual “We are UR” chant, providing an intense atmosphere for the team to celebrate the win.

In addition to the championship trophy for the team, Richmond had several players honored after the game as well. Barry, senior Kelly Wentling, senior Samantha Ostoich, junior Amy Cooke and freshman Megan Miller were all named to the all-tournament team.

Wentling was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player for not allowing any goals through two tournament games and making several key saves in the championship game.

With this win, Richmond will advance to the NCAA Tournament.

The Spiders will try to extend their season against Liberty in a play-in game at 2 p.m. Nov. 12. The winner will have the chance to face first-ranked North Carolina in the next round.

Contact reporter Walter Abrams at walter.abrams@richmond.edu

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