RICHMOND, Va. - The second-seeded Richmond Spiders (16-3; 8-1 A-10) claimed the 2018 Atlantic 10 Women's Lacrosse crown with a thrilling 12-11 overtime victory over the top-seeded Massachusetts Minutewomen (14-5; 8-1 A-10), snapping a nine-year championship streak. With the win, the Spiders earn the A-10's automatic bid to the NCAA Championship.
The Championship's Most Outstanding Performer Kim Egizi, scored the game-winner just 35 seconds into overtime to clinch the title for the Spiders, netting her fourth goal of the day and eighth of the Championship. The Minutewomen scored in the final two minutes of regulation to force the extra period.
The opening minutes of the game saw back-and-forth scoring started by Egizi three minutes into play. UMass followed quickly with a pair of goals from Stephanie Croke and Kaitlyn Cerasi. The lead flipped again with a free position goal from Mia Castagnero, followed by a second Egizi score, giving the Spiders a 3-2 lead. Croke picked up her second assist on the day, finding Holly Turner to even the score.
Back-to-back free position scores from Marissa Brown and Castagnero, followed by an Aly Fries score put the Spiders up 6-3, but the Minutewomen answered with goals from Croke and Turner to bring it within one. Egizi and Castagnero each added a goal before
The Minutewomen looked strong out of the break, rattling off a trio of goals to open play. Cerasi added a pair to tie the game at
The Spiders took an 11-9 lead with scores from Katie Trainer and Castagnero with 15 minutes still remaining in the half. The teams battled for more than seven scoreless minutes until Cassidy Doster took a pass from Kelly Marra and buried it into the back of the net, cutting the deficit back to one goal. Cerasi, who finished with four goals on the day, knotted the game at 11, forcing the eventual overtime period. Richmond's Katie Sciandra had a look in the final seconds of regulation to win it, but an excellent save by Lauren Hiller kept the game tied.
Egizi's overtime heroics gave the Spiders their first A-10 title since 2007, and fourth overall. The senior finished with four goals, one assist, two ground balls, three draw controls and a caused turnover. Castagnero also finished with four scores for the Spiders. Defensively, Megan Gianforte made 14 saves, while allowing 11 goals in 63:35.
For the Minutewomen, Croke scored twice and added a pair of assists while Turner had two goals and three assists. Hiller recorded nine saves while allowing 12 goals int he contest.
Joining Egizi on the All-Championship team are fellow Spiders Julie Ball, Marissa Brown, Mia Castagnero and goalkeeper, Megan Gianforte. From the Minutewomen, Stephanie Croke, Kasey Keane, Kaitlyn Cerasi, Holly Turner and Hannah Burnett made the team, while Davidson's Christine Molinari and Saint Joseph's Sam McGee were also honored.
The Spiders will learn their NCAA matchup during tonight's selection show, which begins at 9:30 pm and will be streamed live on NCAA.com.