The Richmond Spiders eliminated the Temple field hockey team, 4-0, in the semifinal round of the Atlantic Ten championship on Friday at the University of Massachusetts. In their second meeting with Richmond this season, the Owls were controlled from start to finish, just as in their regular-season matchup.
That game also ended in a 4-0 score.
The Owls finished the season 9-11-1 while Richmond, ranked No. 10 nationally, went on to defeat host school Massachusetts on Saturday to claim its second straight A-10 title.
It marked the second year in a row that Richmond knocked Temple out of the A-10 playoffs.
The week prior to their playoff opener, coach Lauren Fuchs said throwing shots on net and making Richmond earn its goals would be keys to a playoff upset.
Neither plan materialized.
In 70 minutes of play, not once was Richmond goalkeeper Michelle Swartz challenged. Playing behind one of the nation’s top defenses this season, many of Swartz’s conference-leading ten shutouts had come without ever denying a single shot. Friday’s game was no different, as Temple attempted only three shots the entire game, all of which went wide of the cage and uncontested.
Defending Richmond midfielder Holly Cram proved to be a challenge for the Owls as well. Cram, the A-10’s regular-season scoring champion, scored once in the first half and then again just 12 minutes later. Cram added an assist in the second half to go with her two goals.
The Owls never seemed to gain momentum. Richmond scored its first goal in the sixth minute of play and the Owls stumbled throughout the remainder of the game. A 3-2 advantage in corner opportunities in the first half could not make up for a listless offense that carried over from the regular season. The Owls weren’t able to record a shot until the second half. By then, Richmond had staked a 3-0 lead.
Christopher A. Vito can be reached at email@example.com.