TRIBE 3, WINTHROP 1
The College of William and Mary had not hosted an NCAA Tournament game since 1992, but it only took the Tribe 34 seconds to get comfortable Friday night.
Junior forward Andrew Hoxie knocked in a goal in the first minute, propelling the College past Winthrop University 3-1 on a cold chilly night with the wind chill in the low 20s at Albert-Daly Field.
With the win, the College turns its focus to no. 1 seed Wake Forest University (18-1-1), who will host the Tribe in the NCAA Tournament second round Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. in Winston-Salem, N.C.
“Tonight we got the lead, got on [Winthrop] early and it takes a lot of mental endurance to keep that lead, to not cut any corners because you are up goals,” senior midfielder captain Doug McBride said. “It really speaks to the volume of our team’s resilience and mental capacity.”
Hoxie scored two goals – his ninth and tenth of the season – in the opening 10 minutes before fellow sophomore forward Alan Koger redirected junior back Roger Bothe’s free kick over charging Eagles goalkeeper Patrick Mitrovich in the 42nd minute to cement the Tribe’s lead at three going into the half.
“We set out to do a number of things tonight, and we really accomplished all of those things and that in the end gave us the win,” Head Coach Chris Norris said.
Following the Tribe’s 5-3 CAA Tournament semifinal setback to George Mason University, Norris said the College needed to capitalize on early opportunities.
The Tribe’s early cushion put Winthrop, the fourth-highest scoring team in the nation, on their heels for the rest of the match.
“We worked hard defensively [tonight],” Koger said. “I believe it was the first game we had the whole team involved in defense. Everybody ran as hard as possible. That is what put us out on top.”
Sophomore goalkeeper Andrew McAdams led the charge from the backline for the College, corralling six saves against the high-powered Eagles offense. The toughest test for McAdams came when Big South player of the year Daniel Revivo ripped a shot from 10 yards out late in the second half. McAdams was up to the task, lunging to his left to punch the ball away to force a corner.
“[McAdams] played a very clean game, [and] didn’t make mistakes,” Norris said. “When he was called on in the second half to make a big save, he got down and [made the save] that could have been a changing point in the game.”
The Eagles ended the shutout broke when Rafael Araujo slotted a low shot into the net in the 76th minute, but Winthrop never pulled any closer.
Next up: Wake Forest
Heading into the second round contest against the Wake Forest University Demon Deacons, the Tribe knows a tough test looms ahead.
“We traditionally play a very tough schedule,” Norris said. “Our kids will not be daunted by going down and playing Wake. We are going to look at this as a great opportunity as opposed to a mountain we have to climb.”
For now the team will enjoy its victory over the Eagles.
“We haven’t been in the NCAA Tournament in a while,” McBride said. “This is my first time. This is my fifth year, so it’s great. It is a different atmosphere. It’s a do-or-die situation, and it’s full intensity for 90 minutes.”