UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND, Va. - The Richmond field hockey team will take on No. 3 Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. in College Park, Md. The Spiders (16-6, 5-1 A-10) and Orange (18-3, 5-1 BIG EAST) will square off at the Terrapins' Field Hockey & Lacrosse Complex with the victor facing the winner of the day's second game between host Maryland and Iowa.
Richmond will make its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance after blanking No. 11 California, 2-0, in Monday's NCAA Play-In game at the Golden Bears' Maxwell Family Field in Berkeley, Calif. Senior Katelin Peterson (Escondido, Calif./San Pasqual) scored both goals in the shutout on assists from junior forward Jackie Gyger (Lancaster, Pa./Lancaster Mennonite) and sophomore forward Christina Amorose (Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart). Sophomore goalkeeper Anna Zarkoski (Norristown, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) finished the day with five saves in her third-straight and fifth shutout in six games for the Spiders, who were the first team to blank the Bears this season.
The Spiders claimed their second Atlantic 10 Championship in three years and seventh overall title in a 1-0 win over Temple on Nov. 5. After scoring her first collegiate goal in the team's 4-0 rout of La Salle in the conference semifinals, senior defender Emily Straniero (New Egypt, N.J./New Egypt) scored her second goal in as many games to power the Spiders past the Owls.
Richmond, which outshot Temple 18-2 in an offensive overpowering, landed four members in Straniero, sophomore midfielder Chelsea Davies (Madison, N.J./Madison), freshman midfielder Rebecca Barry (Limerick, Ireland/Laurel Hill Colaiste) and junior back Catherine Ostoich (West Chester, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) on the All-Tournament team.
In a recent pregame pep talk, Spider head coach Gina Lucido likened this season's Spider squad to a pack of wolves. This year's pack has undoubtedly been led by senior Katelin Peterson, who paces the squad with 43 points on a team-high 16 goals and 11 assists. Sophomore Chelsea Davies and freshman Rebecca Barry have each tallied 10 goals this fall, while Davies has also dished out seven assists. Sophomore Anna Zarkoski has allowed just 21 goals (1.31 GAA) and secured 96 saves (.821 save %) in recording seven shut outs in cage this season.