The Collegian
Friday, June 21, 2024

Spiders defeated in NCAA Tournament first round

Redshirt junior midfielder Maggie Jordan during the May 10 game.
Redshirt junior midfielder Maggie Jordan during the May 10 game.

After a thrilling 14-13 victory over the University of Massachusetts on May 5 to claim a second-straight Atlantic 10 Championship, the University of Richmond women’s lacrosse team fell short in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, losing to the University of Pennsylvania 16-5 on May 10. 

The Spiders came into play looking to get back to the second round of the national tournament after last year saw UR defeat Marquette University in the first round. 

“We started this Fall with the team saying, ‘we pick up right where we left off, nothing has changed,’” UR Head Coach Anne Harrington said in a press conference on May 8. “Sure the team looked a little bit different, but I think the belief has been there all year from the end of last season and that’s the most important part.” 

This time around, however, the Quakers stood in the Spiders’ way, dashing their hopes of advancing further in the tournament. 

Defense defined the opening minutes of gameplay until UPenn got on the board first to put the Spiders in the hole early. 

Sophomore attacker Charlotte Edwards quickly rifled a score of her own to tie things up, 1-1, just 35 seconds later. Unfortunately for the Spiders, this was the last time they would be in close striking distance, as UPenn went on an offensive tear to close out the first quarter and open up the second quarter. 

The Quakers scored five unanswered goals, and with 8:18 to go in the second quarter, the Spiders found themselves down 6-1. UR was finally able to get back on the scoreboard with a goal from junior attacker Colleen Quinn, and just under a minute later, Edwards’ second goal cut the deficit to three goals, 6-3. 

However, another UPenn goal to close out the first half gave the Quakers a 7-3 lead heading into the break, leaving the Spiders with a four-goal deficit to overcome in the remaining 30 minutes of the game. 

Junior midfielder Grace Muldoon and Quinn each scored in the third quarter, but the Quakers still outscored the Spiders 6-2 in the period, bringing the score to 13-5 as the fourth quarter arrived. 

To add to their offensive woes, the Spiders went scoreless in the fourth quarter, squelching any possible late-game heroics to retake the lead. UPenn outscored UR in all four quarters, leading to the Quakers’ 16-5 victory. 

Over the course of the game, the Spiders’ offensive opportunities were ultimately just few and far between compared to the Quakers.’ Despite the loss, on the day, first-year goalie Abby Francioli finished the game with 12 saves, bringing her total to 28 throughout the postseason, which includes the Spiders’ two A-10 Tournament games. 

Even though the Spiders could not repeat their first round success in the NCAA Tournament, it was still an impressive season for UR. 

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When all set and done, the team finished with a 13-6 overall record and second in the conference during the regular season. Several players also garnered some end-of-season awards. 

Muldoon won A-10 Midfielder of the Year, made the All-Conference First Team and was also named an All-American Honorable Mention. Quinn was also named to the All-Conference First Team

Other players making teams were junior midfielder Hannah Custer and redshirt junior midfielder Maggie Jordan, who made the All-Conference Second Team, and Francioli, who made the All-Conference Rookie Team. 

Next season, the Spiders will look to win their third-straight A-10 Championship, attempting to clinch another trip to the NCAA Tournament. 

Contact sports editor Jimmy James at jimmy.james@richmond.edu

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