University of Richmond’s field hockey team failed to nab its first victory of the season, losing to the University of Louisville Cardinals 1-2 Sunday afternoon. Friday, the Spiders lost 1-2 to American University in overtime.
Richmond managed to get off to a good start in the 90-degree heat, with sophomore Taylor Deitrick firing in a deflection with 4:25 left in the half. But for the second game in a row, Richmond lost its 1-0 halftime lead.
“We’ve absolutely had opportunities in both games [when] we could have gained momentum, and perhaps gone ahead and put the game away. But it hasn’t happened for us yet,” said Coach Gina Lucido. “I think it’s just really vital that we’re able to find that chemistry very soon to be able to give us that momentum to capitalize and put these games away.” Lucido said their first two opponents had been great teams, and a win against them would not happen without hard work and preparation.
The Spiders started the second half slowly, not taking any shots on goal for the first 15 minutes. By then, Louisville’s Shannon Sloss had tied the game off a pass from Lotta Kahlert. Richmond created opportunities to regain the lead after that, but failed to capitalize.
Freshman Kelly Quinn had a great look a few minutes later, when a defender cleared the ball up the middle of the field right to a charging Quinn, but she was unable to fool Louisville’s goalkeeper, Sydney King. Within minutes, King had made two more stops, beginning with her robbing senior Chelsea Davies of a goal.
A wide-open Deitrick then found herself on a breakaway with roughly 15 minutes remaining in the game, but King prevented a second score from Deitrick. A Louisville corner soon gave the ball to Elisa Garcia, who assisted Jennifer Pels on the winning goal. The Spiders called a timeout to regroup, but could not answer before the final air horn sounded.
The Richmond crowd was active early and continued to cheer on its team throughout the day, even as temperatures reached 95 degrees.
“We have some weaknesses that we need to work on,” Deitrick said. “It kinda stinks losing two games opening weekend, but it also just helps us improve and become a better team.”
Deitrick also said her team was definitely not losing its optimism. “Today we were just really excited,” she said. “We said, ‘Think about the things we need to improve on, what we worked on in practice yesterday. Don’t dwell on the fact that we lost the game.’ We just wanted to work on the stuff that we needed to fix and we were very positive about it.”
Contact reporter Jacob Steinfield at firstname.lastname@example.org