A 10 women’s lacrosse championship: Richmond pulls away in 2nd half to deny UMass

By KYLE GRABOWSKI

Staff Writer

Published: 05-07-2023 3:43 PM

Richmond senior Lindsey Frank ripped out the UMass women’s lacrosse team’s heart in the second half of Sunday’s Atlantic 10 championship game.

She scored five of her six goals after halftime, including three in a 1-minute, 44-second stretch that ignited a 6-0 run. The No. 2 seed Richmond upended No. 1 UMass, undefeated in conference play before the final, 20-13 at VCU’s Cary Street Field. It ended a 15-game UMass win streak and delivered the Spiders their sixth conference title, first since 2019, and an automatic NCAA tournament berth.

The No. 13 Minutewomen (16-2) are “solidly in” the NCAA field according to USA Lacrosse Magazine but will have to wait to hear their name called during the selection show at 9 p.m. (ESPNU/ESPN+). They’ve played in the past two NCAA tournament but haven’t won the A-10 title since 2021, a drought for the 10-time champion that hasn’t lost a regular season conference game since 2018.

Richmond avenged a 22-12 loss earlier in the regular season and put UMass in a hole early, scoring the game’s first three goals in the opening five minutes. The Minutewomen answered with two in a row, and the teams exchanged tallies until Audra Tosone (goal, assist), the A-10 Defensive Player of the Year, knotted the game at 5 on a fast break shot with 13:41 to halftime.

Kylee Bowen (three goals) gave UMass its first lead 6-5 after taking a pass from Fiona McGowan (goal, two assists) facing away from the goal, turning and faking a high shot before firing low with 10:16 to halftime.

Trading goals again, the Minutewomen led 7-6 thanks to Charlotte Wilmoth (two goals) and 8-7 behind Alex Finn’s goal with 1:45 to halftime. Finn finished with to goals and an assist.

They didn’t score for the next 10:01 wrapping around halftime, while Richmond put away four in a row. Colleen Quinn (three goals) put Richmond ahead for good 9-8 with 15 seconds on the second quarter clock. The Spiders put away two goals in the first half’s final 43 seconds.

Bowen put UMass back on the board with 6:44 left in the third quarter and shaved Richmond’s lead to 11-9. Amy Moreau (three goals) brought the Minutewomen within 12:10 at the 4:02 mark before Frank and Co. pulled away. Richmond scored six consecutive goals across 9:17 and built up an 18-10 lead with 8:42 remaining.

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UMass outscored the Spiders 3-2 over the final 6:38 but couldn’t generate enough chaos for a comeback. The 20 goals were the most the Minutewomen, who had the No. 4 defense in the country coming in (7.69 goals allowed per game), allowed all season. Their 12 goals were the fewest since Feb. 15 against No. 3 Boston College, the ACC champion.

Richmond goalie Emilie Bloyer made 11 saves while facing 24 shots. UMass’s Gina Carroll stopped five shots in the first half before the Minutewomen rotated in Catrina Tobin for the second half as they had all season. She let in all seven shots in the third quarter, which forced UMass to switch back to Carroll for the fourth. The Spiders only had one more shot on goal than the Minutewomen but won by seven. 

UMass won 19 draw controls but turned the ball over 11 times and caused just four. The Minutewomen committed 41 fouls compared to just 18 for Richmond.

Bowen, McGowan and Tosone were named to the All-Championship Team.

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @kylegrbwsk.]]>