It seemed so unreal, an ethereal fantasy created by the lung-burning altitude, that a team could win this way. Yet there the Tribe was, in front of 3,000 hostile fans in the 115th minute, having put the golden goal away in overtime on only the College’s second shot of the match.
William and Mary (2-1) defeated Brigham Young (2-1-1) 1-0 Friday night, despite being outshot by the Cougars 15-2. Freshman forward Erin Liberatore scored the game-winner in overtime, taking a ball played in to the box by senior midfielder Krissy Vornadore and placing it past the BYU keeper for her second goal of the season.
“Krissy Vornadore came down the right channel, around the goal box,” Head Coach John Daly said. “She played the ball past the defense and Erin ran on to it and played it past the keeper.”
Confusion soon followed as the referee on the back side displayed the inclination to nullify the goal for offsides. The BYU faithful and Daly each were ready to make their case and as Daly was about to step out on the field, the call was made. The goal counted.
“They gave a lot of pressure and had a lot of chances,” Daly said of the BYU attack, “but our defense played real well and behind them [junior goalkeeper] Grace Barnard played outstanding.”
It was the best match of Barnard’s career. In the 23rd minute, she made a finger-tip save of a header from Cougar forward Kassidy Shumway, one of the six saves she made on the night.
The Cougars thought they had taken an early lead off of a 3rd minute rebound score by forward Carlee Payne, but Payne was ruled offsides and Barnard’s sheet remained clean for the rest of the match.
Offensively for the College, the chances were few and far between until Liberatore’s goal. Sophomore forward Stephanie Gerow got off a shot in the in the 93rd minute during the first overtime that was saved by BYU goalie McKinzie Olson.
The only other chance for the College came in the 89th minute, when a nice run by freshman midfielder Cortlyn Bristol was deflected away before she could register a shot.
Overall, it was a match of perseverance for the Tribe, something the College is starting to get used to early on in its young season. The Tribe has persevered through its abysmal opening showing versus the University of North Carolina—Charlotte and was able to persevere during a second half comeback attempt by Monmouth University.
Friday was just the latest example of the trait that is coming to define the Tribe’s season so far. Outshot, outmanned and outnumbered, the College did not give up and for that, they will head to the University of Utah Sunday with a 2-1 record.
“It was a great game for our own confidence but we’re only half way done,” Daly said. “Utah is a good team. We didn’t play well versus UNC—Charlotte, we played better versus Monmouth and tonight I thought we played well together.
“We’re learning each other out there and gaining confidence and I hope we play well on Sunday.”