RICHMOND — After a 5-0 April record, Richmond took its first loss in six weeks in the first game of May, falling to High Point in the Southern Conference Championship game 9-8 in double overtime Saturday afternoon at Robins Stadium. The loss was the first for the Spiders against a SoCon team this season and their second in overtime this year.
Both teams got three shots each in the extra periods, the last the game-winner from Sean Harrison on the right side of the crease after a pass from Brad James to clinch the championship.
The Spiders finish the season at 11-5 overall, and as a program end the year above .500, at 17-16.
Richmond got four goals from All-Tournament selection Mitch Goldberg (Damascus, Maryland). He scored the first goal of the game, just 42 seconds in, and the first, middle and last goals of the third quarter. He finishes the year with 29 goals, second-most on the team, and an active streak of 25 straight games with at least one point, dating back to the 2014 season.
HPU (10-6) took its first lead with two goals in the first quarter, both from junior Dan Lomas. Richmond’s Alex Hatem (Syracuse New York) scored the only goal of the second, an unassisted goal with 2:05 remaining in the period. Richmond’s defense pitched its 11th shutout quarter of the season, its ninth against SoCon opponents this season.
The Spiders scored the first three goals of the third and took a 5-2 lead midway through the third. After a pair of High Point goals, Richmond scored twice again to push the lead back out to three, at 7-4 in the first minute of the fourth.
High Point scored the last three goals of the fourth quarter, including a tying goal with 46 seconds remaining to force the overtime period.
Richmond finished with six more shots (39-33) and eight more ground balls (40-32) than the Panthers.
Faceoff specialist Peter Moran (Reston, Virginia / South Lakes HS), also selected to the All-Tournament Team, won 14 of the 22 faceoffs.
Sophomore goalie Benny Pugh (Powhatan, Virginia / Woodberry Forest School) made a huge save to end regulation and another point-blank save in front of the net in the second extra frame, and finished with nine saves for the game to fall to 11-5 for the season.
The Spiders end the year with a 7-4 home mark.
In addition to Goldberg and Moran, defenseman Ryan Dennis (Peapack Gladstone, New Jersey) was also named to the SoCon All-Tournament Team.