Senior leaders once again provided the necessary offense, as No. 11 William and Mary (13-3- 2, 8-1-2 CAA) slipped past the Northeastern Huskies (5-9-3, 3-5-3 CAA) 2-1 at the beginning of overtime to end the regular season in first place in the CAA.
The Tribe’s goals came from senior midfielder Nathaniel Baako and senior forward Alan Koger, who have been leading the team’s offense all season.
“We had a slow start, but as the game went on we were more confident with the field,” Baako said.
The Huskies were the first to score in the match when they put a point on the board in the 35th minute. Their lead didn’t last long, though, because Baako got the equalizer only four minutes later.
On a corner kick, junior midfielder Nicolas Abrigo sent in a shot that became a loose ball in the corner of the box. No Huskies were able to clear the ball, and Baako sent his fourth goal of the season past the Northeastern goalkeeper to even the score at 1-1.
“The goal itself wasn’t great, but it’s a goal, so you take it,” Baako said. “I think I scored from three or four yards out … surprisingly there was no one around me so I just took it. It was nice to get back in the game as soon as we could — the timing of the goal was really good.”
For the rest of regulation, the score remained 1-1. The Huskies led the Tribe in both shots and shots on goal in the first 90 minutes, outpacing the Col1ege 5 to 9 and 5 to 3 in those categories. Northeastern also led in fouls, 11 to 10.
When it came to overtime, though, Koger made sure the Tribe would lead in the most important statistic — points.
He was helped when senior goalkeeper Andrew McAdams made his fifth save of the game less than two minutes into the period, to keep the score tied.
Just two minutes after McAdams’ save, possession shifted to the Huskies’ side of the field. Koger gathered the ball and fired an unassisted shot from the top right corner of the box past the Huskies’s goalkeeper to give the Tribe the win.
Koger has been the team’s most consistent offensive force in the second half of the season. His goal against the Huskies was his fifth game-winner of the season, a team high.
The team will look to use more of Koger’s offensive power during the CAA tournament, which will be held at Albert-Daly Field. The College won the right to host the tournament when it clinched the regular-season CAA championship by defeating UNC-Wilmington in overtime Oct. 27.
CAA tournament play runs from Nov. 12 to 14, and the Tribe will begin postseason play against Delaware Friday. The last time the two teams met, the Tribe defeated the Blue Hens 2-1.
“We haven’t played at home in a while, so being back home should help,” Baako said. “Hopefully we’ll have a decent amount of people, because we have a chance to win the CAA championships at home. I think that we should try to enjoy the atmosphere and have a good game and a good night against Delaware.”