No. 2 Richmond 13, No. 3 Furman 6
RICHMOND, Va. – Richmond sophomore attackman Teddy Hatfield tied his own SoCon season-high for the third time this year with eight points on five goals and three assists, aiding the second-seeded Spiders topple the third-seeded Furman Paladins, 13-6, in the Southern Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship semifinals at their home venue of Robins Stadium. The Spiders will face top-seeded Air Force on Saturday at noon for the SoCon crown in a rematch of the 2016 championship.
Hatfield's five goals also put him tied with Mitch Goldberg's 2014 record of 32 goals in a single season. He also broke Brad Burnam's single season assist record of 23 assists as Hatfield's three puts him at 25 on the season.
The Paladins jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the first period on an unassisted goal by sophomore midfielder William Holcomb. The Spiders responded with back-to-back goals by Eric Haehl and Dan Ginestro. Hatfield recorded his first assist of the night on Ginestro's goal, giving the Spiders momentum midway through the first period. Holcomb tallied his second goal of the night with 47 seconds remaining in the first period, which was once again unassisted. Richmond senior defenseman Ryan Dennis responded 30 seconds later with his first goal of the season after taking the ball the length of the field, faking a pass, and shooting a bounce shot underneath Furman freshman goalkeeper Alec Van de Bovenkamp. The Spiders quickly gained possession off the faceoff and junior attackman Layne Collins found Hatfield with 0.3 seconds left in the first period on top of the crease, who put it in past Van de Bovenkamp for his first goal of the game and giving the Spiders a 4-2 lead entering the second period.
After another opening period goal by the Paladins, Richmond scored three unanswered goals, including back-to-back goals by Hatfield, who collected his fifth hat trick of the season with five minutes remaining in the second period. Hatfield found fellow First Team All-Conference selection J.P. Forester with three seconds remaining in the second period, giving the Spiders a 7-3 lead entering the locker room at halftime.
Coming out of the break, Forester again found the back of the net on an assist by Collins five minutes into the period. Another quick Richmond goal came off the faceoff as Spider longstick midfielder Austin Cates found Hatfield 17 seconds after Forester's goal. Furman junior attackman Jonah Moore would cut the Spider lead to five (9-4) with five minutes remaining in the third period, but the Paladin deficit was too large to overcome.
Hatfield went on to tally his fifth goal of the game – 32nd of the season – less than a minute into the fourth period. Furman answered with back-to-back goals coming from SoCon Freshman of the Year Lou Yovino and freshman attackman Chad Kreuzer. Collins would cap off the Richmond victory with three consecutive goals in the fourth period, one of which was assisted by Hatfield.
The Spiders outshot Furman, 42-20, and registered tallied 13 more shots on-goal (28-13) than the Paladins. At the faceoff-x, Richmond dominated Furman, 16-4, thanks to Richmond all-conference selection Peter Moran, who took every faceoff for the Spiders.
Van de Bovenkamp, the lone goalkeeper on the SoCon All-Freshman Team, tallied 15 saves on the night, just one shy of tying his career high of 16.
Richmond will take on top-seeded Air Force at noon on Saturday at Robins Stadium in a rematch of the 2016 SoCon championship final, which will broadcast on ESPN3. The two teams squared off in USAFA, Colorado, on April 22, 2017, with the Falcons claiming a 9-7 decision. In the 2016 championship matchup, top-seeded Air Force defeated the Spiders, 9-8, in overtime.
No. 1 Air Force 11, No. 4 Jacksonville 8
RICHMOND, Va. – The top-seeded Air Force Falcons defeated Jacksonville, 11-8, in game one of Thursday's semifinal matchup of the Southern Conference Men's Lacrosse Championship on a rainy Thursday evening at Robins Stadium on the campus of Richmond University. With the victory, the Falcons clinched a spot in Saturday's noon title showdown and are set to face the winner of second-seeded Richmond vs. No. 3 Furman.
SoCon Offensive Player of the Year Chris Walsch, a junior, registered two points off one goal and one assist to put himself atop of the Air Force record book with 178 career points.
Jacksonville put the first goal on the board with an unassisted goal from Eric Applegate at the 9:03 mark. The Falcons' Trey Lervick responded with his second goal of the season from Jack Flynn's assist in the man-up opportunity. Going back-and-forth, the Dolphins' Chase McIntyre plugged in an over-the-shoulder goal at the 3:57 mark to close out the first period with a 2-1 lead over the Falcons.
Air Force answered with two straight goals to open the second quarter. Jacksonville's McLean Chicquen, who had two goals against the Falcons in the regular season meeting, notched his first goal of the game at the 7:51 mark to knot the game at three. As the rain began to pour in Richmond, the Falcons initiated a three-goal streak to close the first half with a 6-3 lead. First Team All-SoCon defenseman Brandon Jones registered a caused turnover and converted it to a goal after a downfield stride for the Falcons. The goal marked Jones' second of the season along with his 22nd caused turnover on the year.
Air Force continued to find the back of the net in the third period, outscoring the Dolphins, 4-2. Air Force's Nick Hruby, also a First Team All-Conference selection, added his name to the stat sheet with a goal on a Matthew Schwartz assist. Gould registered his second assist of the game with a feed to Austin Smith for his first goal. In the waning seconds of the third quarter, Sean LaVine picked up a ground ball behind the Falcons' cage and launched the ball across field in a trebuchet-like manner. After 90 yards of flight the ball the helmet of Jacksonville junior goalkeeper Ben Gleichenhaus to fall into the back of the Dolphins' goal. The goal marked LaVine's second of the season. Air Force closed the third period with a 10-5 lead.
Determined to make the most of their first visit to a SoCon tournament, Jacksonville punched in the first two goals of the fourth quarter to cut the Falcons' lead to three. Air Force's Carter responded with his second goal of the game with an unassisted shot into the top corner of the Dolphin cage. JU notched one final goal before the end of the game before falling to the Falcons 11-8.
Air Force held the final advantage in shots (48-19), ground balls (33-27) and extra-man opportunities (1-1). Nine Falcons registered goals on the game, contrasted the the Dolphins' six, led by Carter and Smith with two apiece. Gould and Carter led the Falcons in points with three apiece. The Air Force defense forced 10 turnovers, led by Jones who logged four caused turnovers in the defensive effort; he has 24 on the season. Trent Harper went 12-for-23 (52.2 percent) at the face-off X, battling against JU's Hunter Forbes who registered the second-best face-off winning percentage in SoCon games entering Thursday's semifinal matchup. Air Force goalkeeper Mitch Rose is now 6-2 in the Falcons' cage; he registered eight saves while allowing eight goals. Rose and Jones led the Falcons with five scooped up ground balls apiece.
Gleichnehaus tallied 17 saves on the day after facing 28 shots on-net, while Applegate and JU sophomore attackman Will Hendrick both registered four points on two goals and two assists each.
The Falcons will play for their second-straight conference championship in as many tries, Saturday at noon, in Robins Stadium. Saturday's championship match will be broadcast on ESPN3.