Men’s soccer: College drops second straight CAA contest

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October 3, 2008

11:00 AM

An early lack of intensity doomed the College of William and Mary (4-2-2, 0-2 CAA) against James Madison University to a 2-1 loss Wednesday night.

It was the Tribe’s second consecutive loss, after the team had started the year with a six-game unbeaten streak.

“It was clear that the issue with our performance in the first half had nothing to do with tactics or technical ability,” Head Coach Chris Norris said. “It was purely and simply down to effort and attitude.

“We did not match their intensity.”

A late second half goal from sophomore midfielder Nat Baako gave the College hope, but eight second-half saves from JMU goalkeeper Ken Manahan prevented the Tribe from rallying.

“We created enough chances to get a result in the second half,” Norris said. “Unfortunately, their goalkeeper played very well. Their defenders covered for the goalkeepers when he wasn’t in a position to make a save and as a result they got a win.”

The Dukes (4-3-2, CAA 1-1) quickly put the College on its heels, scoring in the fourth minute. JMU’s second goal came shortly before halftime on an unassisted shot from forward Kyle Morsink.

Norris acknowledged that both of JMU’s goals were “tremendous finishes,” but added that had his squad been more urgent in its play, the goals would have been prevented.

The Tribe emerged from halftime with more intensity and energy. After starting the half with four defenders, Norris adjusted 15 minutes later, adding a third attacker up top and removing a defender to give the College additional scoring potential.

His team responded, plastering the net with 17 second half shots and 11 shots on goal in the last 22 minutes of play, including forcing two Dukes defenders to clear the ball off of the goal line after Manahan was caught out of position.

The barrage finally succeeded when junior back Roger Bothe guided a ball from the left side of the box to Baako, who snuck the ball inside the far post in the 85th minute for his fourth goal of the season.

The last chance for the College to force overtime came off the left foot of sophomore midfielder Jimmy Carroll, who found his way behind JMU’s defense before blistering a shot that took a diving save from Manahan to keep the score at 2-1.

“I think that if we can show the sort of determination and fight that we did in the second half and put together a 90-minute effort, then we can certainly right ourselves and get back on track,” Norris said.

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