They ... could ... go ... all the way: Spider athletes highlighted on ESPN

March 8, 2022


The Richmond Spiders are in the national spotlight after a number of clutch plays on the court and on the field.

The women’s lacrosse team recently took down No. 16 ranked Stanford to break into the national rankings.

Superstar midfielder Kendall Duffy, a junior, scored a backhand shot over her right shoulder between two defenders to get the ball in the back of the net and up the Spider lead in the fourth quarter. That shot was No. 2 in the Top 10 plays of the day on ESPN’s SportsCenter.

The win helped the Spiders reach No. 17 in the Nike/USA Lacrosse Division 1 Women’s Top 20 Poll and No. 23 in the ILWomen/IWLCA Division 1 Poll. Goalie Delaney Galvin made 13 saves to help the Spiders take down Stanford 11-10.

“It comes down to your attitude and how you view the game,” Galvin said. “It’s always 0-0 when the ball is coming at you in a game. We had great composure and I’m really grateful we were able to pull out a win.”

The Spider women’s basketball team was also in the national spotlight when senior guard Kate Klimkiewicz scored the winning buzzer-beater against George Washington. Her shot made the No. 3 spot on SportsCenter.

More recently, forward Addie Budnik scored a game-winning layup with 1.1 seconds to go, clinching the game against VCU after being down by 17 in the first half.

“This was a fantastic win for our program,” said head coach Aaron Roussell. “We showed a lot of grit.”

ESPN also featured Spider men’s basketball forward Grant Golden as one of about a dozen players who returned to the court as part of the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility offered because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I just decided I wanted one more real chance at taking the court with this group of people and this group of coaches,” Golden told ESPN. “We've been through a lot of ups and a lot of downs. Taking the floor with them every night is what I'm going to miss the most.”

One of his fellow players, steals-record-holder Jacob Gilyard, was named a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award for the third year in a row. The winner will be announced April 3.