University of Richmond's men's lacrosse team lost the Southern Conference Championship game in overtime to top seed Air Force on Saturday in Robins Stadium.

After a dominating performance in the semifinals over conference rival High Point on Thursday in which the Spiders won 17-6, Richmond earned its spot in the conference championship game for the third straight year since the team was first formed just three years ago.

Richmond was unable to dominate Air Force, the nation's No. 12 ranked team, in the same manner. But the Spiders did fight hard in the 9-8 overtime heartbreak, a game which featured multiple lead changes and momentum swings. 

"Our guys played their hearts out," head coach Dan Chemotti said. "They laid it all on the line and I’m proud of their effort."

Air Force scored the first goal in the first three minutes of the game, but from there Richmond and Air Force traded leads until the two teams were tied 4-4 at halftime.

The largest lead of the game came when Air Force went on a four-goal streak to lead 8-5 with 10 minutes remaining on the clock. Richmond managed to fight back and even the score with less than three minutes in the game to send it to extra minutes.

Air Force sophomore Andrew Tien scored the game-winning goal less than a minute into overtime. Air Force also beat Richmond 9-8 during the regular season.

Junior J.P. Forester led the Richmond attack with a third consecutive hat trick, posting four goals and two assists for a season-high six points. Fellow junior Jean-Luc Chetner scored two goals and had two assists.

The Spider defense was once again a strong backbone for the team, forcing an offensive Air Force into double-digit turnovers and winning groundballs 26-23 with standout performances by sophomore Austin Cates and junior Brendan Hynes.

Forester, Hynes and freshman Teddy Hatfield were all named to the All-Tournament team.

"We just came up a little short today," Forester said. "It’s tough to really focus on anything but our seniors right now. Those guys have been here since day one and really led the way since our program started." 

Richmond graduates five seniors: Alex Hatem, Tom Monzo, John Atkinson, Corey Palmer and Tyler Batesko.

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