Zach Joachim, Contributing Writer
Field hockey lost to cross-town rival, the University of Richmond 3-1 last Wednesday, Oct. 28.
The Rams went into the match holding a 5-11 overall mark and 2-4 conference record. U of R on the other hand boasted a 9-8 line, 5-1 in conference, which tops the Atlantic 10.
On a miserable, rainy day, VCU students struggled to go to class as field hockey did to score on Richmond.
Kasey Gilbride put U of R up 1-0 in the 17th minute off a corner from the left side. Richmond dominated possession throughout the first half, but the Rams senior goalkeeper Kendall Clifton made key saves to keep the margin slim going into halftime.
Less than two minutes into the second half however, U of R found some breathing room. Amy Cooke put home another corner from the left side to double the lead. The cushion would not last long.
Sophomore forward Jamee Albright scored her seventh goal of the season after the Rams defense forced a turnover to initiate a counter attack. Freshman sensation Emily McNamara provided the assist, her team leading sixth on the year. McNamara also leads NCAA in goals with eight.
The Spiders took back the momentum and remained on the offensive the rest of the match. Katrina Balatgek scored Richmond’s third goal from the left side in the 54th minute to seal the deal. Head coach Laura Baker’s girls suffered their fifth conference loss, virtually putting an end to any playoff aspirations.
As field hockey’s season comes to a close, focus shifts to their prospects going forward. The Rams will lose three seniors: goalie Kendall Clifton, midfielder Kendall Farino and midfielder Taleah Scott.
The Rams of the future will be led by James and Alexis Albright, and Emily McNamara. The freshman forward trio has accounted for 16 of the team’s 26 scores this season and are primed for an outstanding VCU career together.
Sophomore Chessa Kownurko is ready to assume a starting role next year in goal. She tallied 14 saves in a spot start this season against The University of Saint Francis (PA), a thrilling 2-1 victory for the Rams.
Field hockey will conclude its 2015 season on Nov. 1 at Lock Haven University. Game time is set for noon.