The University of Richmond men’s lacrosse team earned a share of first place in the Southern Conference with a thrilling victory over Jacksonville University on Saturday, winning 14-12 at the E. Claiborne Robins Stadium.
The team's record improved to 7-5 overall and 4-1 in conference play. The Spiders also remain undefeated in six home games.
Jacksonville’s Hunter Forbes scored a goal in the opening seconds after winning the face-off, giving the Dolphins an early 1-0 lead. Just a minute later, Richmond freshman Ryan Lanchbury scored the first of his three goals from a Ryan Lee assist to even the score.
Jacksonville retook the lead by way of a costly own goal with a little more than four minutes left in the first quarter. Jacksonville controlled possession for much of the quarter. Although midfielder Gavin Dembeck scored another goal, stout play by the Richmond defense, including four caused turnovers, limited the damage to a one-goal deficit.
An extra-man goal by Richmond senior Austin Brown about four minutes into the second quarter cut Jacksonville’s lead in half, and Richmond freshman Mitch Savoca tied the game less than a minute later. Brown then gave the Spiders the lead with his second goal of the game.
With five-and-a-half minutes left in the half, Richmond junior Teddy Hatfield scored a transition goal off a speedy clear by sophomore goalie Blake Goodman to extend the lead. With a goal from Lee, UR’s lead grew to 6-3.
Jacksonville’s McLean Chicquen quickly answered with 45.6 seconds left, but with just 4.7 seconds remaining in the half, Shawn Menges, the deep pole, scored a transition goal to put the Spiders up by three. The half was not over yet, as Jacksonville's Dwayne Mattushik scored a buzzer-beating goal off a long-range assist by Forbes to send the game to halftime with the score 7-5 Spiders.
The second half started off quickly with a left-handed goal by Hatfield, assisted by Lanchbury. Jacksonville’s Alec Drosos and Gavin Dembeck then scored two goals in two minutes to trim the Spider lead to one. Drosos then scored again with a little more than four minutes remaining in the quarter to even the score.
The third quarter ended quietly, sending the game into the final quarter tied at eight. Just 13 seconds into the fourth quarter, Forbes raced down the field and scored after winning the faceoff to give the Dolphins the lead. Savoca answered almost immediately to tie the game, and Hatfield scored his third goal just over a minute later to retake the lead.
The Dolphins’ Mattushik evened the score with about 12 minutes remaining, but Savoca then answered with his third goal of the game. The game was tied again by Jacksonville’s Jeremy Winston with just under nine minutes left. He was matched by Lanchbury, who scored his second with about eight minutes remaining.
After a quiet five minutes, Lanchbury scored again off a Savoca assist to extend the Spider lead to two. Just seconds later, Chicquen scored his second goal to cut the lead to one, but with 1:42 remaining, Savoca scored his fourth goal of the game, extending the lead permanently. A sharp defensive play by Coleman Kissick sealed the win for the Spiders.
“It’s a credit to those guys and how talented they are, but, you know, they’re talented because they work really hard," UR coach Dan Chemotti said, noting the success of Lanchbury and Savoca.
The Spiders’ next game is at Mercer next Saturday. Chemotti said the team members hoped to continue their momentum and added “there were plenty of things we struggled at today … but we gotta make sure these guys are healthy and ready to go on Saturday, and just play our brand of lacrosse.”
“I do think the future is bright,” Chemotti said. “Even the freshmen who aren’t playing on a daily basis, we feel good about them.”
Contact sports writer Noah Jacobs at email@example.com.