RICHMOND, Va. – Tournament Most Outstanding Player Teddy Hatfield scored the game-winning goal with 1:32 left in overtime to lift the top-seeded Richmond Spiders to an 11-10 win over No. 3 seed Jacksonville in Saturday’s title match of the Southern Conference Men’s Lacrosse Championship at Robins Stadium.
With the win, the Spiders (11-5) collect their first SoCon tournament title and the league’s automatic berth to the 2018 NCAA Championship. The NCAA field will be announced on Sunday at 9 p.m. Eastern on ESPNU.
Hatfield’s goal was his only one of the day but it came when it mattered most. With time winding down in the extra period, Ryan Lanchbury found the junior for the decisive strike to end years of frustration for Richmond, which had fallen in the title game in each of the three previous seasons. Two of those losses came in overtime.
The Spiders wouldn’t have had the chance for redemption had it not been for the heroics of junior Ryan Lee, who scored twice in the final four minutes of regulation to knot the game at 10 and send it to the extra frame. Lee finished the day with three goals and four assists, running his totals for the tournament to six goals, six assists and 12 points, the latter two setting records for a single SoCon Championship.
Lee’s four assists Saturday match the single-game record that Hatfield set Thursday against Furman in the semifinals.
The Spiders got off to a hot start, as freshman Mitch Savoca scored just 39 seconds into the contest. Richmond doubled its lead in quick order, as Lanchbury made it 2-0 after just 1:23 had elapsed.
JU quickly righted the ship, however, as Will Hendrick’s man-up goal with 11:40 to go in the opening frame kick-started a 6-1 run for the Dolphins. Hendrick had another goal and an assist in the run as Jacksonville finished the first quarter with a 6-3 lead.
The Spiders had the run of play in the second quarter, outscoring Jacksonville 3-1, but the Dolphins carried the 7-6 lead into the break.
Hendrick completed his hat trick shortly after halftime to make it an 8-6 affair in the Dolphins’ favor, but Mitch Goldberg and Savoca scored to make to pull the Spiders even. Jacksonville freshman Jeremy Winston scored with 13 seconds left in the frame to send the Dolphins into the fourth with a one-goal edge.
McLean Chicquen scored just 52 seconds into the fourth to temporarily lay claim to sole possession of the tournament scoring record with his 11th point of the tournament, and the Dolphins held the lead until the waning minutes.
Lee took control after that, however, netting his second goal of the day with 3:45 left to match Chicquen’s record and then taking it for himself with another scoring strike with 1:27 left in regulation.
Savoca joined Lee with a hat trick on the day, while Goldberg scored twice for the Spiders. Hatfield had a goal and an assist to run his tournament totals to nine points on four goals and five assists.
Richmond keeper Blake Goodman finished with 11 saves, including a point-blank stop on Dwayne Mattushik’s shot with 2 seconds left in regulation that preserved the tie.
For the Dolphins, Winston had a pair of goals to complement Hendrick’s hat trick. Chicquen had four points on the day, as he had three assists to go with his goal.
Jacksonville faceoff specialist Hunter Forbes, the SoCon Defensive Player of the Year, was 16-for-25 (.640) from the spot and finished with nine groundballs Saturday to match the tournament record of 19 over two games.
Keeper Hunter Sells stopped 10 shots on the day.
The Dolphins saw their season end at 8-7 overall. The winning campaign was the second in the program’s history.
Most Outstanding Player
Teddy Hatfield, Richmond
Pinnacle Award (highest GPA on championship-winning team)
Blake Goodman, Richmond
William Holcomb, Furman
Jonah Moore, Furman
Connor Robinson, High Point
Tim Troutner Jr., High Point
McLean Chicquen, Jacksonville
Hunter Forbes, Jacksonville
Hunter Sells, Jacksonville
Austin Cates, Richmond
Mitch Goldberg, Richmond
Teddy Hatfield, Richmond
Ryan Lee, Richmond
Mitch Savoca, Richmond
SoCon Men’s Lacrosse Championship
May 3 (Thursday)
No. 1 Richmond 16, No. 4 Furman 8
No. 3 Jacksonville 12, No. 2 High Point 11 (OT)
May 5 (Saturday)
No. 1 Richmond 11, No. 3 Jacksonville 10 (OT)