RICHMOND, Va. – Since Head Coach Shannon Karl and her staff took over the reins of VCU Field Hockey in November they have been on a mission to change the culture surrounding the program.

One of their first items of business was having the team sit down and write out a full mission statement, including goals and the process of how to accomplish those goals. The first goal? Win the first-ever Virginia Cup.

Check goal number one off the board for the Black & Gold.

"The Virginia Cup was a fantastic way to incorporate a more competitive atmosphere during our spring season," Karl said. "In February, our team set a goal for the spring of winning this tournament and they were able to achieve that goal."

The tournament was a three-round tournament between the field hockey squads at VCU, Longwood and Richmond. Each school hosted a round with each team playing the other two in two, 20-minute half games at each location for a total of nine games.

VCU hosted the first round at Cary Street Field on March 31st with all three games ending in 1-1 regulation ties and each school ended up registering a win thanks to shootouts. (VCU over UR, UR over Longwood, Longwood over VCU)

Richmond hosted the second round on April 5th where VCU shined taking home 1-0 victories over both squads and putting themselves in the driver's seat for the tournament title.

Longwood hosted the final round on Friday afternoon with VCU securing the title with a decisive 4-0 opening game win over Longwood before falling to Richmond, 1-0. The Rams took home the championship thanks to a 2-1 head-to-head record over the Spiders.

"This team has worked incredibly hard this spring, early in the morning, when most people weren't even out of bed yet," Karl said. "They made great strides in several areas and starting to play a more disciplined, cohesive style of hockey that has been fun to watch. We're all really looking forward to August 8th."

August 8th will be the start of preseason camp for the Rams 2012 campaign.