The University of Richmond men’s lacrosse team defeated High Point University 15-8 May 6 to claim its first Atlantic 10 Championship.
After winning the Southern Conference Championship last season, the Spiders joined the newly formed A-10 men’s lacrosse conference this season.
With this victory, UR earns an automatic bid to the Men’s Lacrosse NCAA Tournament. This is the program’s second straight season earning a trip to the NCAA Tournament and fifth in UR’s 10-season history.
“I mean, this is what we work for,” senior attacker Dalton Young said after the game. “I mean seriously, this entire year. Coming to [UR], I mean spending four years here, COVID, everything, all for us to come to this moment on Robins field, it’s incredible.”
Despite the Panthers scoring the first goal of the game at the 9:21 mark of the first quarter, the Spiders wasted no time in evening things up, scoring themselves 41 seconds later. Through the first 15 minutes of the game, the score showed 3-1 in favor of UR.
In quarter two, UR presented some separation, scoring the first two goals of the quarter, but at halftime, the game remained close with the Spiders ahead 6-3.
Coming out of halftime, the Spiders scored five unanswered goals, swinging all the momentum in UR’s favor. At the 6:42 mark of the third quarter, the Spiders led 11-3. Sophomore long stick midfielder/defender Tommy Stull, who had five ground balls and two caused turnovers, scored the Spiders’ 11th goal.
By the end of quarter three, the Spiders led the Panthers 12-5.
While each team scored three goals in the fourth quarter, the Spiders won the game 15-8, winning their second straight game against HPU this season. UR won 17 faceoffs compared to the Panthers’ eight, and HPU had 20 turnovers to the Spiders’ 13.
“We’ve been through a lot, we’ve battled through a lot, we’ve just kept up the pace all season, everybody’s giving their blood, sweat and tears, and it’s just amazing to go out there and win this with these guys today,” redshirt sophomore goalie Zach Vigue said after the game.
In the midst of the celebrations after the buzzer sounded, the Spiders were awarded their A-10 championship trophy and the A-10 All-Championship Team was announced.
Graduate attacker/defender Derrek Madonna, Stull, junior midfielder Lance Madonna, graduate defender Jake Saunders, Vigue and Young were all named to the All-Championship Team.
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Young also earned Most Outstanding Player after the game. Young scored two goals in the game and assisted on one goal. Other two-goal scorers in the game were both Lance and Derrek Madonna, sophomore midfielder Henry Alpaugh and junior attacker Luke Grayum.
On the defensive side, Vigue had 15 saves and Stull picked five ground balls and caused two turnovers.
“Our defense, I mean hats off to them,” Young said. “They’re the reason we’re here, seriously. I mean, holding those groups, both the UMass and High Point teams to under 10 goals, I mean I got no words. Seriously, I mean that group’s a special group and they’ve come so far and they motivated us offensively.”
After losing to the University of Pennsylvania in last year’s NCAA Tournament, UR will look to advance past the first round in this year’s tournament against the University of Virginia, whom the Spiders will play at noon May 13.
“That was unbelievable,” Saunders said after the game. “It was incredible to be a part of and I'm really just looking forward to spending time with my teammates here and get another week together, it’s awesome.”
Contact sports editor Jimmy James at email@example.com
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