UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va.--(Photo by Andy Wiley) The second-seeded Spiders (13-4-3) go for their second conference championship at the 2011 A-10 Tournament in Dayton, Ohio this weekend.
Richmond earned the bye after finishing 7-1-1 in league play and will bypass quarterfinal play Thursday. The Spiders square off against the highest remaining seed (No. 3, 4, or 5) in the second semifinal game slated for 7:30 p.m Friday.
No. 1 (#17) La Salle (15-0-3, 7-0-2): Did not play this season.
No. 3 Dayton (16-3-0, 7-2-0): The Spiders downed #21 Dayton Oct. 16 after Becca Wann scored the game-winner in the second half. Richmond beat the Flyers in the semifinal round in 2002 at Baujan Field en route to its first conference championship.
No. 4 UMass (12-4-2, 6-2-1): Richmond defeated the Minutewomen in its regular season finale last Sunday, 1-0, after Wann netted a goal in the game's 62nd minute.
No. 5 St. Bonaventure (9-6-4, 4-2-3): It was Wann again with two tallies in Richmond's 2-0 win over the Bonnies in Olean, N.Y. Oct. 2.
No. 6 Charlotte (7-9-4, 4-4-1): Did not play this season.
Wann of the Nation's Best: 2010 Rookie of the Year and preseason All Conference selection Wann has followed her breakout freshman campaign with a stellar sophomore season. Wann is second in the conference and 13th in the nation in goals (15), 17th in points (36) and fourth in game-winning tallies (7). Wann is currently second in a single season in both points (36) and goals (15). Wann set a single-season record for game-winning goals (7). Wann's 10 career game-winning goals already ranks second all-time.
Supporting Cast: Senior goalkeeper Melissa Pacheco ranks second all-time in saves (216) and shutouts (12). Pacheco is 30th in the country in goals against average (0.694) and 12th in save percentage (0.881). The Spiders rank second in the A-10 in shutouts (11). Teammate Liza Koch is second in the A-10 and tops on the team with eight assists, which also ranks 30th in the nation.
Surging Spiders: Richmond won a season-best five games in a row this season, tying a program-high streak. Richmond's 13 wins are the program's most since the 2002 season, when it won the A-10 Tournament and advanced to the Sweet 16. The Spiders are just two wins away from tying a program-high. Richmond has won 11 of the last 13 games and six of the last seven and received a first-ever bye in the A-10 tournament. Richmond's 7-1-1 finish in conference play is also a program-best.
Familiar Territory: Richmond returns to Baujan Field in Dayton, Ohio where it won its only conference championship in 2002. The Spiders beat Dayton, 1-0, in the semifinal round and downed Rhode Island, 3-1, en route to the title.
The championship will commence Sunday at 1 p.m. with the winner receiving the Atlantic 10's automatic bid to the NCAA Women's Soccer Tournament.
Complete in-game coverage, including live video streaming and gametracker will be available through Atlantic10.com's tournament central page here and will also be linked through RichmondSpiders.com. Fans are also encouraged to follow the official Spider Athletics twitter here for play-by-play action.