You would think William and Mary Head Coach John Daly would be happier, and to a certain extent, he was. His team had just defeated Coastal Carolina University 3-0 two days after losing to the University of California-Santa Barbara in the first game of the Fairfield Inn and Suites Marriott Tribe Invitational.
You would think he would be happy about the Tribe’s three-goal output — the third time they have reached that number this season. You would think that he might find more joy in the Tribe’s second shutout of the season.
But if you thought that, then you obviously don’t know John Daly.
“We dominated the game from the beginning, but we did not play all that well,” Daly said. “We just didn’t get good-quality touches, good possessions and good crosses in the middle; we let them hang in there, and when you do that their confidence goes up and ours goes down.”
It wasn’t all bad. In fact, it was mostly all good. Sophomore forward Stephanie Gerow scored in the 48th minute, burying the ball into the back of the net off an assist from senior forward Krissy Vornadore. It was her first goal of the season and Vornadore’s team-leading third assist.
Senior midfielder Sarah Quinlan’s goal was pretty good, too. Quinlan took a pass from junior back Katy Winsper and beat the goalie to the left for her first tally of the season. The Tribe ended up outshooting the Chanticleers 27-2 and took 10 corner kicks compared to Costal Carolina’s one.
But Daly was not satisfied. Perhaps it is because he sees the bigger picture, or perhaps he just saw the George Mason-UC Santa Barbara game earlier that day. The Patriots beat UCSB 3-1, taking advantage of the Gauchos’ midfield in ways the Tribe did not.
“I think we don’t have great balance in the middle of the field right now,” Daly said. “We have good players, but they are very similar athletically and play with the same pace. They lack mobility though, and that makes playing three players in the midfield risky.”
Daly played three in the midfield, starting in the second half when he went from the 4-4-2 formation to a 4-3-3.
The highlight of the game came in the 65th minute when junior back Kaitlin O’Connor scored on an indirect free kick in the box.
The goal might have been easy — the free kick was the result of a Coastal Carolina defender’s intentional back-pass to the goalie who picked the ball up — but the moment was a meaningful one.
O’Connor returned to the field this week after being suspended for the Tribe’s Utah trip the week before. The goal was the junior’s first of the season.
“Kaitlin is a great player and a solid team leader,” Daly said. “It is definitely a bonus to get her back on the field.”
It was the happiest Daly sounded all night.