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Photos and Game Summary: Spiders Fight Back for Home Opener Win

There was no lack of excitement in the Robins Center last night as the Spiders clawed their way to victory in an overtime victory.

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Saint Francis (0-2,0-0 NEC): 98
Richmond (1-0,0-0 Atlantic 10): 100

Box Score

Official UR Recap:

Facing a 10-point deficit with 100 seconds remaining in regulation, the Spiders chances of securing a season-opening win vs Saint Francis were slim. But Richmond used a suffocating full-court press and a pair of three-pointers to rip off a 12-2 run to end the second half and outlasted the Red Flash in overtime for a 100-98 win Friday night at the Robins Center.

A corner three by newcomer Blake Francis, a junior transfer who last played for Wagner in 2017-18, cut the deficit to seven, and a deep three-pointer by Nick Sherod, playing in his first game since tearing his ACL last November, 15 seconds later shrunk Saint Francis’ lead to five.

Freshman Tyler Burton made it a one-possession game with just under a minute left when he stole the ball at halfcourt and sprinted to the hoop for a dunk to make the score 89-86.

Following a Red Flash free throw, Jacob Gilyard cut the lead to two with a driving layup. Moments later, he intercepted a Saint Francis pass and was fouled. Gilyard’s two free throws tied the game at 90, and Richmond’s defense held Saint Francis to a wild shot on the final possession of regulation to force overtime.

Neither team could get separation in the extra period as the Spiders and Red Flash traded baskets for the first four minutes. Richmond edged ahead 99-97 on a Nathan Cayo layup with 55 seconds remaining and took a three-point lead on a Gilyard free throw with 10 seconds remaining. The Spiders intentionally sent the Red Flash to the line with just under two seconds remaining and secured the win when Gilyard dribbled out the clock following a free-throw violation by the Red Flash when Keith Braxton’s second free-throw attempt, an intentional miss, failed to hit the rim.

“I knew we had to make a run,” said Sherod of the Spiders comeback in regulation. “At that point in the game it’s not really about running any plays or about doing anything special it’s about trying to go score and playing harder than them. We had been in this situation before against VCU a couple years ago so we knew we had a chance to come back. I think we showed some maturity as a team. We knew the guys we needed to get the ball to down the stretch to score.”

Sherod finished with a game-high 27 points in his first game since tearing his left ACL against Hampton on November 25 last season, 348 days prior to Friday.

“I’m so happy for Nick,” said coach Chris Mooney. “I’ve been telling people that I thought he was better than ever and right on cue he showed that. He played a tremendous game and not only did he have 27 points but he must have had three or four really big rebounds down the stretch.”

Sherod’s eight total rebounds were tied with Grant Golden for the most on the team. Gilyard added 24 points and a team-high eight assists for the Spiders , who won their season opener for the first time since 2016.

Richmond will look for its first 2-0 start 2013 Thursday night against Vanderbilt at the Robins Center. Tip time is 7 PM and the game will be shown on NBC Sports Washington and ESPN Plus.

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Kickers

Kickers Open Abbreviated Season on the Road this Saturday

Despite surging cases of Covid-19 USL League One has decided that the season must go on and starts this Saturday. A full schedule including home matches should be released in the near future but for now, we only know about this first game.

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Despite surging cases of Covid-19 USL League One has decided that the season must go on.

As mentioned last week each team in League One will face 10 teams during the regular season, with one opponent omitted from each club’s schedule to help limit air travel. Each team will play its assigned regional rival four times (the Kickers “regional rival” Greenville Triumph SC is located in Greenville, South Carolina a 7.5 hour drive away) – twice home and twice away – and seven other clubs in a home-and-home series. The final two games of the season will be made up of one home and one away game against two more clubs, creating a 20-game slate.

Since this announcement one team, Toronto FC 2, has dropped out citing “global pandemic and accompanying travel restrictions”.  There are two teams in Florida, Orlando City B and Fort Lauderdale CF. Yesterday the Florida Department of Health reported at least 15,299 new Covid-19 cases, the highest number of new cases in a single day by any state since the coronavirus pandemic began. The chances of a future shut down and losing another two teams seems to loom on the horizon.

USL League One is posting this with all their playing announcements.

All league activities for the duration of the 2020 season will be coordinated in compliance with both local health authorities protocols and those previously published by the USL, which were created in consultation with medical and infectious disease experts along with required government approvals.

Ignoring those storm clouds on the horizon the Kickers announced on Friday that their first game will be on the road against South Georgia Tormenta FC, this coming Saturday, July 18th at 8 PM.

This will be the first match under new Head Coach and Sporting Director Darren Sawatzky.

This match will be available live on ESPN+.

The full 2020 USL League One schedule has yet to be released.

We’ve have not heard what restrictions will be in place when the Kickers play at City Stadium.

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Movies in the Outfield at the Diamond Start this Week

The twice a week series will have movies on Thursday and Saturday. They kick things off this Thursday with the classic “Field of Dreams”. We also would have approved of “Sandlot” or “Bull Durham”.

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From the Richmond Flying Squirrels:

The Richmond Flying Squirrels will begin hosting Movies in the Outfield, a socially distanced movie-going experience on the field at The Diamond, beginning Thursday night.

Upcoming Showings | Event Seating & Ticketing | Pre-Order & Day-Of Concessions | Policies & Event Procedures

Movies will be shown on The Diamond’s video board on Thursday and Saturday nights. Admission is $8 per person (children 3 and younger are admitted free). Information on upcoming showings, tickets, concessions and health and safety policies can be found here.

Movies in the Outfield is presented by VCU Health and supported by Aldi, Dominion Energy, Elephant Insurance, Richmond Area Honda Dealers and Pepsi.

The new, twice-a-week series begins on Thursday night with a showing of the classic baseball film, “Field of Dreams.” The gates at The Diamond open at 6:05 p.m. and the movie will begin at 7:05 p.m.

This Saturday, the Flying Squirrels will host a showing of “The Incredibles” at 6:05 p.m. The gates will open at 5:05 p.m.

Tickets are on sale now for both showings here.

To promote social distancing, seating will be located on the field in either 10’x10’ spaces for up to four people or 10’x20’ spaces for up to eight people. Guests are encouraged to bring blankets or pillows, but chairs will not be permitted.

Concessions will be available for Movies in the Outfield. The Flying Squirrels strongly encourage all guests to pre-order food prior to their event date. Orders can be submitted here. Food orders will be available for pick-up at Rosie’s Bistro at the Bullpen, which is located on the right field-side of the stadium. All food orders made at the event must be submitted online and can also be placed here.

An additional beverage-only stand will be located on the third-base side of the ballpark and will accept credit card payment only.

Parking for Movies in the Outfield is available for free in the Blue Lot at The Diamond, located off Arthur Ashe Boulevard across from the bus station. All guests should enter the stadium through the right-field gate located near the Food Lion Party Den.

The Flying Squirrels strongly encourage all guests to adhere to all protocols for the health and safety of other guests and staff, including wearing a mask and following social distancing guidelines.

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Kickers

Kickers and USL1 Announce Plans for 2020 Season

The Richmond Kickers haven’t announced their plans for hosting games and if fans will be allowed into City Stadium.

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Official Richmond Kickers Announcement:

USL League One announced on Thursday a revised regular season and playoff structure for the 2020 season has been approved by the league’s Board of Governors. The new format for the league’s second season will see each of League One’s teams play 20 games across 15 weeks in the regular season to determine the sides that will meet in the 2020 League One Final.

The revised schedule will see each team in League One face 10 teams during the regular season, with one opponent omitted from each club’s schedule to help limit air travel. Each team will play its assigned regional rival four times – twice home and twice away – and seven other clubs in a home-and-home series. The final two games of the season will be made up of one home and one away game against two more clubs, creating a 20-game slate.

The regular season will be played over a single-table format, with the schedule set to kick off on Saturday, July 18 and conclude on Saturday, October 24th. The top two teams in the final regular season standings will then meet the week of October 31st in the 2020 League One Final.

All league activities for the duration of the 2020 season will be coordinated in compliance with both local health authorities protocols and those previously published by the USL, which were created in consultation with medical and infectious disease experts along with required government approvals.

Additionally, League One’s Board of Governors approved a motion that will allow five substitutes to be used for the remainder of the 2020 season. Matchday squads will remain at 18 players, with clubs mandated to provide 23-man provisional squad lists at least 48 hours prior to kickoff, as per league rules.

The number of substitutes represents an increase from the three substitutions rule that had been in place. However, to avoid disruption to the game, each team will only have three opportunities to make all of its allotted five substitutions.

Substitutions may also be made at halftime without counting against a club’s three in-game opportunities. The decision is in line with the temporary law amendment made by the International Football Association Board in May.

Every game of the 2020 League One season will be broadcast on ESPN+. Announcements regarding Home Openers for each club and the full 2020 schedule will be announced in the coming days.

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