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Morton’s winner leads Spiders to a second straight A10 championship

Richmond has done it again. For the second year in a row and the fourth time since 2018, the Spiders defeated UMass in the Atlantic 10 title game, this time by a score of 14-13.

Grace Muldoon led the Spiders on Sunday with four goals, two assists, six draw controls, two ground balls and a turnover caused. Alexis Morton scored four points on an assist and three goals, including the game winner.

Jordan Dean led the game with 15 draw controls, and Kassidy Morris finished with four goals and one assist for UMass. The loss ended the Minutewomen’s 12-game winning streak, which included a 13–12 victory over the Spiders to close the regular season on April 27.

Richmond, which defeated Marquette in the first round of last year’s NCAA tournament, will get to know its opponent tonight during the Selection Show on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. UMass is ranked No. 25 in RPI. The Minutewomen made the NCAA tournament last season as an at-large, but that’s no guarantee this spring, a wild tournament in Division I women’s lacrosse.

Richmond grabbed an early 6-1 lead, but UMass closed the half on a 5-1 run, including each of the last three goals of the second quarter, to cut the margin to one at halftime, 7-6.

The momentum continued to swing in Minutewomen’s favor in the third quarter. A pair of goals from Charlotte Wilmoth in the first five minutes of the half tied the game and gave UMass its first lead, 8-7, at 10:03. Skylar Simmonds completed a stretch of six unanswered goals and an 8-1 run overall with a score that extended UMass’ lead to 9-7 at 6:43.

The points game ended there, as no team could string together more than two consecutive goals the rest of the way. One such instance occurred when Morton scored from the 8-yard mark, and Colleen Quinn followed to put Richmond ahead 13-12 with 5:56 left. But a goal from Simmonds, 37 ticks later, made it 13.

UMass controlled the ensuing tie, but Caroline Murphy caused a turnover and picked up the ground ball. The Spiders cleared it, and Morton circled from behind the net and beat UMass defenseman Audra Tosone as he fell, giving Richmond a 14-13 lead with 3:15 to play.

UMass had one shot in the final minute: a Wilmoth attempt that Abby Francioli stopped with 43 ticks remaining. Leah Kenny was there for the ground ball scoop.

The final score marked the fourth time since 2017 that the two teams have been separated by one goal in the conference tournament finals. UMass won 13-12 in 2017, with the Spiders claiming a pair of overtime victories in 2018 and 2019. Richmond returned to the title game last year for the first time since 2019, beating UMass, again the top seed, 20-13 .