JJ Hendrickson, Contributing Writer
The VCU women’s lacrosse program lost to the Richmond Spiders 19-5 in a Friday afternoon game at Cary Street Field.
The game marked the Rams’ seventh straight loss to the Spiders, a streak that extends back to 2016 according to VCU athletics. VCU head coach Nicole Flores said she was disappointed with the way the team performed.
“Not happy would be the best description,” Flores said after the game. “Still too many turnovers. Our ground balls were pretty rough. You know, we gave them second and third chance opportunities that could have been going the other way. So, between those two things, it was a catastrophic mess.”
In the first quarter of the game, both teams got off to a hot start. Richmond senior attacker Arden Tierney opened the scoring just 62 seconds after the opening draw. Less than a minute later, VCU freshman attacker Mia George responded with a goal of her own. It was at this point the Spiders seemed to wake up. The team scored three unanswered goals across a 3:20 minute stretch to reclaim its lead.
VCU junior attacker Juliana George and Richmond freshman midfielder Grace Muldoon traded goals shortly before the quarter ended, bringing the score to 5-2. The Spiders managed to put five more shots on target than the Rams, a big reason they were leading.
The second quarter was when Richmond truly took the game over. The Rams were unable to find any answers on either end of the field, and Richmond outscored them 9-0 before the horn sounded for halftime. Spiders sophomore midfielder Sarah Roycroft and junior midfielder Lindsey Frank both scored twice in the quarter.
The Spiders’ high-scoring second quarter led to a halftime score of 14-2. Richmond took 28 shots across the first 30 minutes, while scoring on half of those shots. The Rams were only able to create nine shots with a much lower conversion rate than the Spiders.
Richmond picked up right where it left off in the third quarter. The Spiders scored three more times before VCU was finally able to put another goal on the board. Juliana George’s second goal of the game ended a 12-0 Richmond run. The score was 17-3 entering the final quarter of play.
The fourth quarter of the game began with a goal from VCU freshman midfielder Mason Whitmore, the first of her career. Whitmore said scoring the goal was one of the highlights of her season.
“[It felt] amazing. I did not expect it, but it was definitely a really good part of my season,” Whitmore said.
The Spiders scored twice more in the fourth quarter, while Juliana George scored again for VCU. Following a strong final 15 minutes from the Rams, the horn sounded with a final score of 19-5. George, who finished the game with three goals, said the opponent was a big reason she played so well on Friday.
“Just knowing this is a rival team, you gotta come out ready to go, ready to fight,” George said. “It was a really tough game, they’re a really good team, they’re ranked. It was tough, but I just think I had the opportunity to step up and I was able to finish this game, but unfortunately, we did not come out on top.”
George has excelled for the Rams lately, as she has scored seven goals in her last three matches according to VCU athletics. VCU head coach Nicole Flores praised George’s recent play, but also attributed her success to the team’s offense.
“She’s taken the initiative, but it’s a team offense that facilitates her ability to get open after we run through some sets, so, it’s nice to see her getting the points up on the board and hopefully we get a lot more,” Flores said.
The loss brings VCU’s record to 6-7 overall and 2-3 in conference play heading into a conference game against Saint Joseph’s University on Sunday. Flores said she is excited about the matchup.
“Looking forward to a battle and a nice bus ride,” Flores said.
The Rams’ will play the Saint Joseph’s University Hawks on Sunday, April 10 at 1 p.m. in Philadelphia, PA. The game will be televised on ESPN+.