All Head Coach John Daly has asked of his team this season is for all 11 players to play hard at the same time. Through four matches, this was not a problem.
But in William and Mary’s (4-3-1) last three matches, including Sunday’s 2-1 loss to East Carolina, Daly and his staff have found the Tribe’s effort lacking.
“I think we prepared well over the course of the week, however I don’t think we started well,” Assistant Coach Britta Marmon said. “I think we did some good things, but we didn’t play nearly as well as we needed to win.
The Tribe came out strong against he aggressive Pirate attacking, scoring a goal in the 18th minute on a header from sophomore midfielder Katrina Smedley.
Smedley received the cross off a corner taken by sophomore midfielder Cortlyn Bristol and headed the ball into the top left former of the net for her first goal on the season. But the lead would not last long as East Carolina’s Amanda Malkiewicz scored in the 24th minute to even the score at 1-1.
The College had a chance to reclaim the lead in the 42nd minute, but a header from sophomore midfielder Mallory Schaffer just banged off the right post. The ball sat in front of the goalmouth for a split second before Pirates keeper Christiane Cordero pounced on it for the save.
The pace of the match slowed considerably in the second half, with the Tribe looking a step slow to the ball in ninety-degree heat.
“I think it was just a mentality that we didn’t come out,” Marmon said. “I think by now, we should be fit enough. If that’s an issue, we’ve got bigger problems. I just think some of our players weren’t checked in and they cashed in on that.”
Few chances presented themselves to the College in the second half, perhaps the best being a flurry of shots taken in front of the goallbox in the 74th minute. Bristol banged a ball hard to the left, only to se the rebound go to the foot of Schaffer to the left of the far post.
Schaffer then ripped a shot from 10 feet out, but the ball was corralled by Cordero and the score remained tied a one apiece.
It looked as though both squads were preparing for overtime until ECU’s Jessica Woodward scored on a header in the 90th minute to give the Pirates the victory.
Now with three losses in their last three matches, Daly and Marmon are left searching for answers as to why the Tribe has fallen off since the start of the season.
“It’s something we have got to try and fix,” Marmon said. “If we knew how to fix it, it would be fixed. I thought we had a good week of training, our kids seemed really focused and prepared…But we’ve got to fix it. How we fix it, we are going to try and find that.”