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September 22, 2016

Richmond field hockey on surge

The Richmond field hockey team has yet to let up a goal in conference play, as it stands atop the Atlantic 10 leader board, breaking the .500 mark for the first time all season.

The Spiders (8-7, 3-0 A-10) dealt shutout losses to La Salle and West Chester last weekend and have now outscored conference opponents, 18-0.

Last weekend, Richmond took care of La Salle (four shots), 2-0, and West Chester (one shot), 4-0. The two teams had few shot opportunities against the Spider’s defense. Richmond now has outshot its last four opponents by 58.

Richmond, winners of four out of their last five games, is stymieing opponents in wins this season. Their defense boasts six shutouts and has allowed two goals during eight victories. Overall, the Spiders give up 1.73 goals per game which is second to Massachusetts in the A-10.

After starting the year off 2-2, Richmond dropped two games and has been floating around .500 ever since. It struggled in non-conference play, largely against top-tier opponents. Its five losses against ranked teams include the game against No. 11 James Madison on Oct. 9.     

Triumph in conference is nothing new for the Spiders, who captured five of the last seven A-10 titles and won 27-of-30 games in the past five years, including undefeated campaigns in 2005 and 2006.

Richmond leads the conference, a half game in front of Saint Joseph’s.

Midfielder earns honors

Saint Joe’s midfielder Anne Schreuders continued her stellar play on Friday. Her steadfast pace has moved her up the stat sheet and landed her conference Player of the Week honors.

Schreuders has been on an offensive tear as of late, with 16 points in her last seven games and leading the Hawks to five wins in that span.

With 11 goals on the season, the senior tallied as many goals this season as she had in her previous three years. She has five goals in as many games including a pair on Oct. 11 against Rutgers in Saint Joe’s final non-conference game.  

The foreign-born player from the Netherlands has been plagued by injuries during her collegiate career, but that hasn’t stopped her from being productive. She started eight games and recorded 12 points in her rookie stint following mid-season rehab, but tallied seven points in 12 games after a torn ACL her sophomore season. She also overcame a concussion to record 14 points in eight games last year.

This is Schreuders’ second career A-10 Player of the Week award. She received the accolade last Sept. 15 after scoring two goals and an assist in two Hawk wins.

Schreuders is the second St. Joe’s player in the last two weeks to earn the honor. Teammate Kelly Swanick gloved the award last week, recording back-to-back shutouts in the crease.

Billikens in scoring drought

Saint Louis scored its second goal in six games on Sunday which is about the only positive that has come out of those games. The Billikens have not won in over six weeks and aren’t catching any breaks in the next three games.

St. Louis (1-13, 0-3 A-10) has played poorly all season and that play continued this past week with two losses. The Billikens lost on Friday as West Chester scored a goal in the first two minutes of a 3-0 game. On Sunday, they also gave up five first half goals to La Salle in a 5-1 loss.

St. Louis has now dropped 11 straight games on the season. It has been on the scoreboard three times in their 14 games with five goals.

The Billikens have been outscored by seven or more points in seven of their 13 losses. While the average A-10 team gives up 2.3 goals per game, the Billikens are giving up 6.64 goals per game.

SLU can find encouragement with playing its final three games at home, although it has yet to win there and will play solid conference opponents. After five straight road losses, St. Louis will welcome No.10 UMass into Missouri next Sunday.

The Billikens follow that up with home tilts against Temple and St. Joe’s, two teams that beat the Minutewomen this past week.

Daniel Gigliotti can be reached at dgigliot@student.umass.edu

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