RICHMOND — Redshirt senior transfer Mickey Hofmeister (Williamsburg, Virginia / Jamestown HS) put together a hat trick in his first game in a Richmond uniform and goalie Benny Pugh (Powhatan, Virginia / Woodberry Forest School) posted 12 saves as the Richmond Spiders began their second season of lacrosse with a 9-5 home win over Saint Joseph’s Saturday at Robins Stadium.
The win was the first for Richmond in a home opener and a season opener, in the program’s second season of existence. The Spiders are now 3-0 in games in which it faces an opponent for a second time. The Spiders beat Mercer and High Point in the Atlantic Sun Championship after losing to both teams in the regular season in 2014.
Richmond held the Hawks, a team that scored over 11 goals a game last year, to just two goals through three quarters, including a scoreless third quarter.
“This was an unbelievable team defensive effort,” said head coach Dan Chemotti.
The game’s highlight may have come in the fourth, when the Spiders were three men down for 30 seconds and two men down for 30 more right after and held off the Hawks, despite six shots taken in that stretch.
“I don’t know if there was a bigger moment in the game,” said Chemotti. “For us to be able to weather that storm when we were three men down, when that finished, our momentum skyrocketed. We got a little luck too, but our guys flew around and were in the right place.”
The Spiders got the season’s first goal a little over five minutes in, when junior Cory Palmer (Atlanta, Georgia) scored an unassisted goal for the 1-0 lead.
The Hawks answered at the end of the quarter to tie the score after the period ended. SJU took the lead by scoring the first goal of the second, but the Spiders closed the half by scoring three goals, and added both in the third to lead 6-2 at the end of three.
Sophomore J.P. Forester (Bloomfield Hills, Michigan) scored with 13 seconds remaining in the half and the first goal of the third, five minutes in, as the first player with a multi-goal game.
The teams combined for five goals in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter, with the Spiders answering the SJU push.
Hofmeister scored for the first time with nine seconds to go in the third, and he put in the last two goals of the game, at the 11-miniute mark, and again with 4:20 to go in regulation.
“I was very pleased with the shot selection that our guys demonstrated today.”
The Hawks did not score from the start of the second to the start of the fourth, a stretch of 29:29 during the Spiders’ 5-0 run, the essential difference in the game.
Richmond will remain at home over the next five contests. UR hosts Rutgers next Saturday, with the opening faceoff at noon.
NOTES: The hat trick was Hofmeister’s sixth of his career, but the first at Richmond… He spent the last four years at VMI, playing in three seasons… Dating back to his time at VMI, he has scored a goal in seven-straight games, and has scored a point in 15 in a row… Richmond’s leading scorer last year, Mitch Goldberg (Damascus, Maryland), scored in the second quarter and now has a goal in seven straight games and has a point in 10 in a row… Pugh’s career high for saves was 17 in the game against Saint Joseph’s last season… Saint Joseph’s is the first team Richmond has played twice that is not a conference opponent.