Richmond moves closer to .500
The Richmond field hockey team is making strides in the right direction as they inch closer to .500 to start the season in non-conference play. The team started the season alternating two-game winning and losing streaks playing top-tier opponents, and now looks to have gotten some rhythm and momentum as they move into conference play.
The Spiders (4-5) were the victims of a difficult schedule during their first six games, suffering four losses at the hands of teams once ranked in the polls. They never seemed to play poorly, either, as they managed to score goals in each of their losses and only lost one game during that span by more than one goal.
Richmond won its only game this past week, taking care of William & Mary, 3-1, last Wednesday, and Spider’s coach Gina Lucido was pleased with their production. In an interview after last week’s win, she said how the strong performance was well-needed in order to prove something to themselves. She said that it was a huge day and made note of their relaxed play, something that the Spiders have been lacking.
“They all were enjoying themselves, playing loose and not thinking about [the game],” Lucido said to Richmondspiders.com.
Forward Katelin Peterson has been the key to their success offensively, scoring five goals in the past three games including three in a (7-0) rout over Monmouth on Sept. 19 and two last Wednesday against the Tribe. Peterson has been especially accurate in her shooting this season, scoring on 43 percent of her shots. She is tied for third in the A-10 in goals scored (6).
St. Louis get rematch with Bears
Everyone likes to see a familiar face, except for Saint Louis (1-7) who faces an opponent tomorrow that typified their season woes during their last match on Sept. 7.
Missouri State (3-7) enjoyed a one-sided affair the last time they took the field with the Billikens at home. They rattled in seven unanswered goals on their opponents, outshooting them by 20 in the process (28-8).
The Billikens have been a model of futility this season, scoring in only two of their eight games including a total of six goals on the season (.75 goals per game). When Saint Louis has managed to get shots on goal, they have been accurate (70 percent shots on goal), however, they have failed to make enough passes at the net, finding themselves outshot 178-49.
Of course, any offensive push begins with defensive stops, and the Billikens have had a tough time stopping anyone this season. They give up 6.38 goals per game (51 total goals).
One bright spot has been goalie Alex LaBarge, who has played solid since relieving goalkeeper Katherine Deem six games into the season. LaBarge has saved 64 percent of the shots put on goal, including a total of 32 saves in her three games.
The game will be played at the Anheuser-Busch Center in St. Louis, Mo., which could bode well for the home team. The Billikens have spent a lot of time away from home, playing six of their eight games this season on the road and a little home-cooking could do them well. They almost mustered a win in their last home game registering three goals, coming up just short in an overtime loss against Bellarmine, 4-3.
In its five games on the road, Missouri State has yet to pull out one win on the road thus far, being outscored 21-8.
Owls and Rams skidding
After promising starts to the season, West Chester and Temple are on five-game skids with conference play quickly approaching.
The Golden Rams (5-5) have fallen to a .500 record after losing the 29th annual Eleanor Snell Cup to their rival Ursinus on Sunday. After starting the season 5-0 and scoring five goals per game, West Chester has been outscored 21-2 on the losing streak, including three shutouts. Against tough opponents in No. 2 North Carolina and Rider University (8-0), they could barely muster a shot, managing only five in the two games. In a game against Penn State on Sept. 20, they were outshot 29-1. Over the five-game span, they have been outshot by a total of 73, a discrepancy of 14.6 shots per game.
West Chester could use the help of its leading scorer, freshman Melissa LeNoir, who stands second in the A-10 in both points scored (17) and goals scored (7). The forward has been unable to get anything going in the past five games (0 goals, 0 assists, 9 shots).
The Owls have faced similar adversity lately, dropping three games in the past week. Since their losing streak started on Sept. 18, they have scored two goals, one in each of their past two games. On the season, they have scored 1.18 goals per game.
They have run into an unfavorable schedule as their foes this week shared a combined record of 19-7. Temple’s three losses earlier in the season were no easier, as they faced No. 5 Connecticut, No. 19 Michigan and an undefeated Rider team. Four of their last five games were played on the road, where the Owls are 1-5.
Temple hopes to get off the snide at home on Friday against Stanford. West Chester will have its last non-conference game at home against Lock Haven on Sunday.
Daniel Gigliotti can be reached at email@example.com.