Nov. 2, 2012

There are four spots in the field hockey championship. Three are filled by familiar faces and the fourth by a newcomer. But all four are shooting for the same thing – to bring home the Atlantic 10 trophy in Saturday’s championship finals.

The Atlantic 10 Field Hockey championship begins Friday in Amherst, Mass with the semifinal round, followed by the finals on Saturday. Richmond, the defending champion, will be the top seed for the championship. All three games will be played at UMass' Garber Field.

Tickets are $6 for a single day adult pass and $4 for single day passes for A-10 studetns, children and senior citizens. Two-day championship ticket books are $10 for adults and $7 for students, children and senior citizens.

The Spiders, spurred by Rookie of the Year Taylor Deitrick, were a perfect 7-0 in conference play this season and 15-4 overall. The Spiders get the opportunity to welcome long-time crosstown rival VCU to the Atlantic 10 Championship. The Rams (13-5, 4-3 A-10) joined the A-10 this past July and will be competing in their first tournament as the No. 4 seed. The two Virginia foes meet at 11:00 am in the first semifinal.

The second semifinal features the A-10 Offensive Player of the Year in Temple’s Amber Youtz versus the Defensive Player of the Year, Lauren Allymohamed from Massachusetts.  The Minutewomen are seeded second after finishing the regular season at 12-8 overall and 6-1 in league play. UMass finished second in scoring margin, just behind Richmond and led the league in shots and shots per game. The Minutewomen finished third in most league defensive categories. Temple on the other hand led the A-10 in most offensive categories, including goals scored and scoring average. The Owls finished at 5-2 in league play and 12-8 overall and will face UMass at 2:00 pm on Friday.

The two semifinal winners meet Saturday at 2:00 pm for the championship finals. All three matches will be streamed live on the Atlantic 10 website, Atlantic10.com, which is also the place for tournament scores, Gametracker links and game recaps.