As William and Mary (10-2-1, 5-1-1 CAA) keeps answering its critics with wins, only one question remains for the Tribe — how long can this squad continue to fly under the radar?
The College defeated James Madison 2-1 in Harrisonburg, Va. Wednesday due in large part to two goals from senior forward Alan Koger. The victory extended the Tribe’s unbeaten streak to seven matches.
“It was not one of our best performances of the season,” Head Coach Chris Norris said. “But considering the circumstances, playing a good team on the road, a team that presents challenges for us, getting a goal behind and still getting the win, I was pleased with that part of the performance.”
After an 11th minute goal from James Madison’s Patrick Innes gave the Dukes a 1-0 lead, Koger equalized the score with a header from seven yards out. The goal, Koger’s fifth of the season, was set up by a cross sent into the box from the left wing by senior midfielder Nat Baako.
“[Koger’s] on a very good run right now,” Norris said. “He’s now very on form. All season, his ability to hold up the front, to be dangerous, to keep the other side’s back four honest; he’s been very productive all year, and I think now you’re seeing the productivity in the statistics coming to the fore.”
The score remained tied until the 73rd minute of the match, when Koger once again found the back of the net for the Tribe. The goal was set up by a ball played into the middle from senior back Derek Buckley. Baako gathered the pass from Buckley and sent a pass to the right wing for Koger.
All the senior had to do was beat the James Madison keeper from 16-yards out, sending a shot into the top-right corner of the net to give the College a 2-1 lead.
The Tribe, which was recently ranked 14th in the country by Topdrawersoccer.net and currently holds the fifth best RPI in the country, returns home to take on Delaware Saturday. A win this weekend would put the College in position to lock up first place in the conference, and home field advantage in the CAA tournament when it faces UNC-Wilmington Oct. 27.
“I think the best thing about this group, their greatest strength, is their experience,” Norris said. “Up this point, the guys have done a great job compartmentalizing each game. Every time out there, we are looking to improve on our performance. We’re looking for that perfect performance. We’ve had success in our level of play by doing that.”