The Tribe was running through the raindrops, untouched by neither water nor Hawk in the early evening twilight. And although the ending may have failed to live up to the sensational beginning, the College of William and Mary (1-1) still managed to soundly defeat Monmouth University 3-1 Friday night.
“It’s an old cliché, but it was a game of two halves,” Tribe head coach John Daly said. “I thought we played well in the first half. We connected well …We didn’t play as well in the second half. We defended well, we fought hard but we didn’t play as well as I would have liked.”
Freshman midfielder Mallory Schaffer started the scoring in the fourth minute, volleying a corner kick from sophomore defender Diana Weigel over the top of the keeper for her first career goal.
“JD has been stressing attacking the ball and hard work and the first goal was just me attacking the ball,” Schaffer said. “It just kind of squirted out and I was able to be in the right place in the right time.”
Unlike last Sunday’s 3-0 loss to the University of North Carolina-Charlotte, aggressiveness was not an issue. Nor was spacing, as a switch to a 4-3-3 formation enabled Shaffer and senior midfielder Krissy Vornadore to make plays in the middle of the field.
“It kind of freed me up on top more. I play the up-center midfielder so it kind of drew in two more defensive center midfielders who could mark up and allow me to be more of a roaming player in the center of the field,” Schaffer said.
The College’s second score came in the first second of the 26th minute, when senior forward Kellie Jenkins knocked a deflected cross into the back of the net for her first goal of the season.
The Tribe struck again eleven minutes later on freshman forward Erin Liberatore’s first career goal. Liberatore was the recipient of a through ball played just in front of the box by Weigel. A one touch pass from Vornadore, a deke to the right past the goalie and Liberatore finished into the back of the empty net for the second freshman goal of the night.
Although a back, Weigel picked up two assists on the match. She also was involved in a number of successful set pieces and in a physical matchup on the left side against Monmouth’s Mary Wilks—a matchup which drew Weigel her first yellow card on the season.
“She was pretty good, pretty athletic so I was trying to do whatever I could to stop her,” Weigel said. “Sometimes that meant fouling her and letting them have the ball so they wouldn’t have a quick break away.”
The lone Hawk goal came in the 63rd minute when senior forward Andrea Lopez placed a cross from the right side of the field in the back of the net. The goal was the only blemish on an otherwise clean night from junior Grace Barnard, who rebounded nicely from a tough opening match to post five saves.
The Tribe now faces one of the most difficult stretches on their schedule, a two-game road trip against Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. BYU was the Mountain West Conference Champion last season and beat Virginia Tech in the NCAA tournament. Utah finished second in the conference, losing 1-0 to BYU in the conference championship.
“They are going to be two very tough games,” Daly said. “We’re going to have to be ready to play, ready to battle.”
Notes: Daly was on the sidelines after battling a bout of ill health during the week…Freshmen Cortlyn Bristol, Katrina Smedley and Annie Yu made their first career starts…The Tribe took 14 shots compared to Monmouth’s 8 and committed 9 fouls compared to the Hawks’ 16…Senior forward Kellie Jenkins’ goal in the first half is her first since October 16, 2008 when she scored the game winner against VCU.