No. 11 Massachusetts Escapes Richmond with One-Goal Win

RICHMOND -- Richmond senior Hayley Ross (Annapolis, Md.) scored two goals and had an assist in her last regular season home game, but a low shot in the final second was saved as the host Spiders could not end the 31-game A-10 winning streak for visiting No. 11 Massachusetts in a 9-8 result at Robins Stadium.

The win gives Massachusetts sole possession of first place and clinches a spot in the A-10 Tournament with a 14-1 overall mark, and a 5-0 league record. Richmond ends its five-game winning streak and slips to 9-5 overall, 4-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference.

It was only the second time all season the Minutewomen were held under 10 goals and this was the closest game played by UMass, the nation's leader in scoring margin.

The Spiders and Minutewomen traded goals in the tightly contested first half. Richmond was on the board first on an Emily Doyle (Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J.) goal at the 25:28 mark, with the Ross assist.

Five and a half minutes later, UMass tied the game, and it took nine minutes of clock time until Richmond sophomore Brooke Wilson (Ijamsville, Md.) gave the Spiders the lead again. Massachusetts tied it back less than a minute later and UR sophomore Charlett Stevenson put in a free position shot at 4:10 remaining before a UMass goal with 1:48 left to tie the score at three into the half.

Massachusetts out shot the Spiders 11-7 in the first half, with Richmond goalie Emily Boyce (Middletown, Md.) making five first-half saves, including four free position, point-blank saves.

The Spider halftime adjustments created three quick goals in the second half, with Ross scoring twice in the first two minutes of the period. Junior Anna Jeszeck (Cortlandt Manor, N.Y.) gave Richmond the largest lead of the day at 6-3 with an unassisted goal with 26:34 remaining.

The Minutewomen went on a tear from that point, winning the draw and maintaining possession to the tune of four-straight goals in a little over three minutes to take their first lead of the day at 7-6 with 23:24 in the half.

Richmond won a scramble for the ball and freshman Emily Castle (Annapolis, Md.) was able to shovel a pass over to junior Makenna Pohle (Scottsdale, Ariz.) for her second goal of the season to tie the game at seven.

Three and a half minutes later, junior Bailey Zerr (Denver, Colo.) gave the Spiders the lead again when she shoveled in a rebound over goalie Rachel Vallarelli with 18:27 left.

Tough defense clamped down on the scoring at that point before Melissa Carelli scored with 10:03 left and the game-winner was put in the back of the net off a scramble rebound from Sam Rush with 3:27 left.

UMass attempted to kill the clock the rest of the way, but the Spiders were able to knock it loose with 26 second left, getting a low shot at the eight-meter line, but Vallarelli went down to get it and preserve the win.

Boyce took the loss (8-5), but collected 10 saves in the contest. Vallarelli got the win (14-1) and collected six saves.

Massachusetts won 13 of the 20 draws in the game and out shot the Spiders 23-16.

Richmond senior defender Taylor Blazer (Berlin, Md.) led all players with five ground balls. She also caused two turnovers and needs 13 more to own the Richmond career record.

The Spiders finish the regular season next weekend with a pair of road contests, at Duquesne Friday at 4:00 p.m. and at St. Bonaventure Sunday at noon to close out the season. Richmond needs one win to guarantee a spot in the A-10 Tournament, where a pair of wins will capture the two-seed. Friday's game will be for second place in the league standings and a clinched spot in the tournament, as the Dukes have just one conference loss are in a tie with the Spiders.

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