Richmond field hockey beat Davidson Friday on a goal from Taylor Deitrick in the final minutes to advance to the A-10 championship game, where the Spiders will attempt to win back-to-back titles against Massachusetts.
Davidson scored early in the first half of the game with a goal by Katherine English off of a penalty corner. After gaining the early lead, Davidson only managed to maintain it for eleven minutes before Richmond evened the score. Team captain, Amy Cooke scored in the 29th minute on a pass from Thalia Williamson, during one of Richmond’s eight penalty corners.
The Spiders showed a glimmer of last year’s scoring offense during the second half as they pelted the Davidson defense with 12 shots, 8 of which were on goal. Deitrick’s goal came twelve minutes before the end of the game despite elite goaltending by the Davidson goalie, Emily Leytham. Leytham was rendered helpless toward the end of the game as Deitrick was positioned perfectly to tap a deflected shot in, making the score 2-1.
The Richmond defense played a strong game, allowing only three Davidson shots, and were able to shut out the Davidson offense in the second half to preserve the win.
Massachusetts played Saint Joseph’s, the host of the tournament, in the other semi-final game earlier Friday. They put their offense on display, logging 17 total shots and 7 penalty corners to beat Saint Joseph’s 5-2. Although Saint Joseph’s took the lead early in the second half, Massachusetts came back quickly with five consecutive goals, three of which were scored by defensive back Melanie Kreusch. Massachusetts came into the tournament as the second seed with a conference record of 5-3, only two fewer wins than Richmond.
The stage has been set for the A-10 championship final. A strong Massachusetts offense will clash with a stonewall Richmond defense. The championship finale will likely be similar to the regular season meeting between these two teams, where Richmond won in double overtime. Since 1996, no team has won the A-10 field hockey championship except for Richmond or Massachusetts, and that streak will remain unbroken this year.
Richmond will face Massachusetts on at 2 p.m. on Saturday for an NCAA tournament berth.
Contact sportswriter Colby Wilcox at firstname.lastname@example.org