JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – All coaches talk about setting the tone from the start of the game.
That’s exactly what the University of Richmond men’s lacrosse team did on Saturday when the Spiders used a huge first half en route to a 13-6 victory over Jacksonville in Southern Conference lacrosse action.
With the win, Richmond improves to 7-1, the best start in program history.
Seniors Benny Pugh and Henry Buonagurio combined to rack up 19 saves on the day, which set a new single-season program record. Pugh himself had 16, which was one shy of the individual single-game record.
Pugh and the defense shutout the Dolphins in the first half to set the tone for the day and help the Spiders claim their second SoCon win of the season.
Offensively, sophomore Teddy Hatfield led the way with two goals and two assists, while junior Austin Brown registered his first career hat trick in the victory. Seniors Dan Ginestro and J.P. Forester also had multi-goal games with two apiece on the afternoon.
Brown got things started early, taking a feed from Ryan Lee and finding the back of the net less than five minutes in to grab a 1-0 lead.
Richmond’s defense would take over, allowing just three shots on goal in the first 15 minutes and stifling any possible Jacksonville opportunity.
The offense went to work in the second quarter with its largest offensive outburst of the season and it began once again with Brown taking a feed from Lee to give Richmond a 2-0 lead with 12 minutes to play before halftime.
Hatfield and Lee would follow with goals of their own to push the lead to 4-0.
Richmond would really grab momentum heading into the break with three goals in the final 3:42 of the second, including two from Forester, who scored with under 10 seconds to play in the half to give the Spiders a 7-0 cushion at halftime.
JU would respond out of the break, scoring three goals in the first four minutes of the second half to make it a 7-3 game.
Dean Roseman stopped the bleeding with an unassisted goal of his own and Richmond would once again close the quarter strong to really put the game out of reach.
Hatfield found the back of the net with just under four minutes to play in the third and less than 50 seconds later, Austin Cunningham took a feed from Hatfield to make it 10-4 game.
Ginestro fired one home with under 10 seconds to play in the quarter to deliver the backbreaker and make it 11-4 in favor of the Spiders.
JU would try to start a rally in the fourth, but Brown’s third goal and another goal from Ginestro, this time with under five minutes to play, would seal the win for the Spiders.
Richmond is back on the road next week for another tough conference game against perennial SoCon contender High Point. Game time is set for 12 p.m.