After 75 minutes of scoreless soccer, it appeared whatever squad managed the first goal would win. 15 minutes later that theory was proven grossly incorrect as five goals had been netted between William and Mary (1-1) and Campbell (0-2) Saturday night. Fortunately for the Tribe, they found themselves with three of the late tallies.
An 88th minute goal from redshirt freshman Caleb Thomas gave the College a 3-2 lead — one the Tribe would hold on to for the remaining two minutes.
“We had had so many emotional twists and turns [in the last 15 minutes],” Head Coach Chris Norris said. “At that point [of a 2-2 game] I figured we were probably going to go to overtime and we needed to figure out how to lift the team again from the disappointment of being ahead two goals and giving up that lead. So to get that third goal in regulation, with so little time for Campbell to respond at that point, was a great relief.”
Thomas’s first collegiate goal helped the College regain a lead, which had once seemed insurmountable, holding a 2-0 margin over the Camels with 12 minutes to play.
Scores from midfielders junior Ian Stowe and senior Price Thomas gave the College what seemed like a secure 2-0 lead in the 78th minute. But the Camels capitalized on a defensive miscue to bring the lead to one, and six minutes later knotted the game at two when junior goalkeeper Andrew McAdams lost his footing while defending Camel Vince Petrasso’s offering.
“I think we were the more talented team, I don’t necessarily think we were the better team on the night,” Norris said. “I think a draw would have been a fair result for both teams. But, it’s a funny sport and I’m certainly not disappointed that we got out of there with a win.”
Campbell’s two center backs established a physical presence early on the defensive end. Senior forward Andrew Hoxie used this aggressiveness to his advantage in setting up the Tribe’s winning goal. After a ball was played to Hoxie at the top of the box, the Newport News, Va. native spun a Camel defender and charged into the box after a loose ball. Hoxie forced Camel’s keeper Ted Awana to make a save that generated a rebound allowing Caleb Thomas to finish the free ball past a wall of Campbell defenders.
For the College, the goal eliminated ten minutes of bad bounces and missteps and allowed the Tribe to secure its first victory of the 2009 season.
Despite not managing a goal until deep in the second half, the Tribe opened the game strong and was able to beat Campbell’s pressure early. Price Thomas nearly put the College on the board in the 20th minute when the senior rang a blast off the inside of the post before the ball ricocheted back to Twana.
Price Thomas capitalized on his next opportunity, dipping a long-range shot over the Camel’s keeper into the upper corner to extend the Tribe’s lead to 2-0 after Stowe had finished off an 18-yard strike into the lower corner two minutes and ten seconds earlier to break the scoring open.
The Tribe returns to the field Friday when they travel to Norfolk, Va. to take part in the ODU Stihl Soccer Classic.