The College of William and Mary (10-6, 6-1 CAA) registered eight of the nine goals scored over a 14-minute span in the first half Thursday night to build an insurmountable 13-4 lead. The Tribe never looked back, knocking off no. 17 Old Dominion University (11-3, 5-2 CAA) 20-10 in front of a stunned crowd at Powhatan Field in Norfolk, Va.
With the victory, the Tribe secured its second-straight regular season CAA title and will host the four-team championship tournament.
“[We] came out incredibly focused,” Head Coach Christine Halfpenny said. “It was a huge goal to limit their looks on cage and to tighten up our defense. I’m thrilled with our core unit of defense, as well as our midfield, where their aggressive nature of play really limited Old Dominion.”
The College raced out to an early lead over the Monarchs before clamping down defensively, allowing only two shots in the final 10 minutes of the half.
Sophomore attacker Maggie Anderson led the Tribe with five goals, while fellow sophomores, midfielder Grace Golden and defender Molly Wannen, netted three apiece.
“We pride ourselves on our quick ball movement,” Wannen said. “Our one [on] one challenges opened up the lanes for everyone tonight. Our offense definitely took advantage of their defense not paying attention to our cutters … Their double [teams] were just not coming quick enough to us.”
The College opened the second half with a goal 52 seconds in, as Anderson corralled a feed from junior midfielder Katie Rees and rocketed a ball over Monarch goalie Sarah Geary’s shoulder to ignite a four goal run.
The Tribe’s lead grew to 18-6 before pulling sophomore goalkeeper Emily Geary, who finished the game with four saves, including back to back stops a third of the way into the second half to shut the door on any ODU comeback.
“We executed our game plan for 60 minutes,” Geary said. “On defense, we were just playing tough, we were being aggressive, getting out on the ball. We were playing our zone, which was tripping them up a little bit. They have some big guns. We just had to come out as a unit.”
Anderson added an exclamation point late in the game after taking a pass behind the cage from senior attacker Dolly Williams. Anderson leaped to collect the feed before unloading her fifth goal.
With the win, the Tribe will now host Towson University Thursday at 5 p.m. The Tigers defeated the College in the CAA championship game last year.
“Towson will be out to get us,” Halfpenny said. “We know they will be ready. It is our job to be more ready.”