Update: Richmond knocked off Saint Francis, 4-1, Friday, and fell at home to ACC member and No. 14 Boston College, 2-0, on Sunday. The Spiders, who jumped Davidson after the Wildcats lost at Saint Joseph's Saturday, close out the regular season against conference foes Virginia Commonwealth University and St. Louis.

Successfully following up a season in which the Spiders captured the Atlantic-10 Conference Championship was not going to be easy, but the Richmond field hockey team is doing just that.

Last year, Richmond field hockey won the A-10 Championship in stunning fashion by defeating Massachusetts in sudden-death overtime, and the pressure to live up to last year’s performance has been a factor this season.

“As a forward I felt pressure because we lost our number-one scorer last year,” said Kelly Quinn, the Spider’s current top scorer. “As a team it’s actually been more exciting this year though, because we could be the first team to win back-to-back titles under Coach (Gina) Lucido.”

Based on statistics, the team does appear in good position for a repeat title performance. So far this year, the Spiders have compiled an 8-7 overall record and a 4-1-conference record, which is similar to their 2014 records of 12-10 and 6-2.

The field hockey team’s 2015 season started off strong with a couple of home wins. But four consecutive loses put an early damper on the year. Although the losses came to higher-ranked, non-conference opponents, such as No. 12 Wake Forest and No. 17 Liberty, they were nonetheless disheartening.

“This season has been tough because we’ve played a lot of higher ranked teams,” said captain Amy Cooke. “But we’ve used that as a strategy. Now we are used to playing at a higher level and that’s made us ready to play tough opponents later.”

The Spiders managed to bounce back from those defeats with three consecutive victories, including a win in their first conference game against Lock Haven and a thrilling double-overtime road victory over No. 20 Massachusetts.

Since then, the field hockey team’s season has featured mixed results. The Spiders shut out La Salle 5-0 in a highlight performance, but recently lost their first conference game to Davidson in overtime. Because of this loss, Richmond relinquished its first-place position in the A-10 to Davidson and now sits in second place, one game behind.

“It’s all about the fight and staying in as long as possible. Now we are prepared to grit through,” said Cooke.

The team plays its next game at 3:00 p.m. this Friday, Oct. 23 against conference opponent Saint Francis at home on Crenshaw Field.

Contact sports assistant Aidan Logan at aidan.logan@richmond.edu