TRIBE 0, LOYOLA (MD) 0
Entering its matchup against no. 17 Loyola University (5-0-1), the College of William and Mary (2-0-2) was aware of its opponent’s daunting statistics: Loyola had won 13 consecutive home matches and held its opponents scoreless in 10 of those 13 matches.
Loyola again held an opponent without a goal in Baltimore Wednesday, but the Tribe halted Loyola’s home winning streak, recording a 0-0 draw in double overtime.
In the 109th minute of action, the College came within inches of tallying a thrilling overtime winner when junior midfielder Price Thomas sent a high cross through traffic into the box where sophomore back Mike DiNuzzo had made a run to the right post. The ball was chest high and about six yards from an empty net, but the cross was out of the sophomore’s reach and the ball skirted by for a goal kick.
“We were definitely going for it [in overtime],” Head Coach Chris Norris said. “Our kids were confident and felt like we had the better of the play in the last 20 to 25 minutes of regulation. We felt like we were the team [with momentum] and we were really pushing forward, trying to get the win.”
The Greyhounds’ unusual attack strategy of diverting the ball to the corners when they felt threatened caused the Tribe a few first half defensive missteps. Typically Norris gives his outside defenders freedom to surge forward and join the attack, while keeping sophomores Nick Orozco and Derek Buckley to hold firm in the middle. After adjusting to Loyola’s attack at halftime, the College prevented the Greyhounds from attempting a single shot on goal in the final 65 minutes of play.
“Overall it was probably our most comprehensive performance defensively [this season],” Norris said. “We are a team that is very capable of shutting out anyone we play against, but we had been making one or two big mistakes a game that had been costing us goals and we didn’t make those mistakes [Wednesday].”
The Tribe out-shot the Greyhounds 14-9, including a 3-1 advantage in shots on net. Sophomore midfielder Nat Baako continued his recent aggressive play, leading the team with four shots.
The College played without its second-leading scorer, junior forward Andrew Hoxie, who missed the match due to a groin injury. He is expected to see limited action Saturday at Elon University.