RICHMOND, Virginia – The 17thandThe ranked University of Richmond men’s lacrosse program will play its eighth straight conference championship game and seventh straight game for the Southern Conference title after the second-seeded Spiders eliminated the third seed and hosted High Point 12-11 Thursday night at Vert Stadium. Richmond goes 10-4 this season, marking its sixth season in the nine-year history the Spiders have hit double-digit wins.
The Spiders are the only program in the nation to appear in eight straight title games, with Yale the next closest program to five straight games in the Ivy League. Richmond will face Jacksonville, seeded number 9/11, in the SoCon Championship game Saturday at noon at Vert Stadium on ESPN Plus. The Spiders are in contention for their fourth conference championship since the program’s first season in 2014.
The semi-final match was a typical heavyweight fight between rivals Richmond and High Point. The match was tied 10 times, with either team’s biggest lead being two goals, once by both sides.
graduate midfielder Luc Frankeny (Wilmington, North Carolina) scored a career-high five goals, leading six different Spider scorers. senior attack Ryan Dun (Towson, Maryland) added four assists and tied for the team lead with five points while Lance Madonna (East Syracuse, NY) scored two goals, including the winning tally with 1:07 remaining in the game.
Redshirt freshman guard Zach Vigue (Apex, North Carolina) continued his solid game, making 18 saves to lead the Spiders defense. Vigue has 37 saves in two wins over the Panthers over the past three weeks. Freshman Faceoff Specialist Jared Chenoy (Ft. Lauderdale, Florida) was strong on the night, winning 13 of 20 faceoffs, but stepped up in the second half winning 9 of 11 in the final 30 minutes.
The Spiders took an early 4-2 lead with four goals in a five-goal streak in the first quarter. junior attack Dalton Young (Chantilly, Virginia) posted the Spiders’ third goal to open the scoring for Richmond while Frankeny added a goal up and two of the Spiders’ first four goals.
High Point (7-8) responded with four straight goals, taking a 6-4 lead in the second quarter. The Spiders fought back with two straight games, one from Frankeny and one from Max Merklinger (Mendham, New Jersey). Richmond entered the locker room tied at 7-7 as Young scored in the final minute of the half.
The Spiders and Panthers traded goals in the second half, with Richmond reclaiming a 10-9 lead with 13:57 to go when Ryan Lanchbury (Burlington, Ontario) scored his only goal of the game. Frankeny responded to an HPU goal with his best fifth of the game of the season, but the Panthers tied it again with 3:46 left.
The teams traded possessions in the final game, with the Spiders taking the game lead with 1:07 to go. Madonna missed two HPU defenders and scored by contact for her 22n/a goal of the year and the biggest of the season. High Point won the ensuing faceoff and had a chance in the last minute as Asher Nolting watched the goal closely, but Vigue made the save, his 18andto preserve victory.
Lanchbury finished the night with just two points, on a goal and an assist, but set another Richmond record in the process. His two points brought his season total to 74 points on the year, breaking his own single-season scoring record in program history while extending his point streak to 57 straight games.