PHILADELPHIA – The Spiders took a five-goal run into the halftime break and closed the game on a four-goal run to hand the Saint Joseph's women's lacrosse squad a 16-7 loss in Atlantic 10 action on Friday evening on Sweeney Field. With the loss, the Hawks fall to 5-6 overall (1-2 A-10) while the Spiders improve to 9-2 overall (3-0 A-10).
The top team in the nation in free position percentage with an average of 4.90 free position goals per game entering Friday's contest, Richmond continued to dominate from the eight meter as the Spiders scored five free position goals in 15 opportunities.
The Spiders opened the game with back-to-back free position goals (28:07, 27:37) before Brierley put away an unassisted score to cut the Hawks' deficit to one, 2-1, at the 26:04 mark.
Richmond responded with another free position goal (24:57) and an unassisted score (21:15) to jump out by three, 4-1, but Kelly found McGee (15:37) and junior midfielder Rebecca Lane (14:02) to pull the Hawks back to within one, 4-3, entering the final 14:02 of the first half.
From there, the Spiders fired off five unaswered goals, the final three by Katie Sciandra, to close out the first half with a 9-3 advantage; Sciandra scored five of her six goals of the game in the first half to propel Richmond's offense.
Sophomore midfielder Bridget Cerciello converted SJU's only eight meter goal of the game just one minute into the second half to pull the Hawks to within five, 9-4, but Sciandra responded with her sixth goal of the game (28:11) and Madison Ostrick put away back-to-back goals (18:42, 17:57) to push the Spiders' lead out by eight, 12-4.
The Hawks chipped back with a trio of consecutive goals as junior midfielder Ally Beck (15:13) and Brierley (13:59) put away unassisted goals and McGee scored a half-field, breakaway goal on a brilliant sequence initiated by senior defender Juliana Strazulo and assisted by sophomore midfielder Laura Lasprogata to bring the Hawks to within five, 12-7, entering the final 12:30.
From that point, the Spiders took over as Rachel Ziemba assisted on a pair of Spider scores (9:35, 8:50) and scored her own (3:30) and Kim Egizi added one more with 3:00 remaining for the final 16-7 score.
For the game, Richmond owned a 37-20 advantage in shots and a 21-17 edge in ground balls. After winning seven of 13 draw controls in the first half, the Spiders dominated the circle, 9-3, in the second half for an overall 16-9 advantage in draw controls for the game.
Strazulo was a significant factor on the defensive end of the field, leading the Hawks with four ground balls and three caused turnovers. Lane added three ground balls while junior midfielder Hayley Sabol and senior defender Catie Vivian were good for two ground balls and two caused turnovers apiece.
Graduate student goalkeeper Liz O'Sullivan (5-6, 1-2 A-10) made 13 saves - seven in the first half and six in the second - in the full 60:00.
Saint Joseph's hits the road to face Davidson (7-4, 2-1 A-10) this Sunday, April 8. Opening draw control is set for noon at Richardson Stadium in Davidson, N.C.
GAME NOTES: With one goal, junior midfielder Rebecca Lane moves to 93 for her career, just one shy of tying with Meghan McDevitt '13 for eighth in all-time career goals on Hawk Hill... The goal also gives Lane 166 points, just three shy of tying with Kerry O'Connell '06 for fourth in all-time career points on Hawk Hill... Saint Joseph's falls to 2-18 all-time against Richmond.