The CAA’s top-scoring offense was back in top form Tuesday, as senior attacker Maggie Anderson and No. 15 William and Mary launched an all-out attack on the Navy Midshipmen Tuesday, to a 17-10 victory at Martin Family Stadium.
While the contest was close in the beginning, the College (5-4) utilized its explosive senior core and began to pull away during the middle of the first half. The Tribe displayed masterful ball movement, which allowed the squad to control possession and wear down the Navy defense.
“Navy is a very good opponent,” head coach Christine Halfpenny said. “The first 15 minutes of the game [were] back and forth. We were going up and down the field pushing the ball … but we settled down and we wanted to play our game. We didn’t want to play their game, which is very fast, we wanted to play our game, which is tempo control.”
The College’s offensive output rattled the Navy defense and surprised Midshipmen goalie Elaina Ponchione, one of the best in the country. Ponchione allowed 14 goals and made a season-low three saves in 47 minutes, 35 seconds of work. Ponchione’s replacement, Michelle Verbeeck, did not fare any better, and was abused by the Tribe offense for three goals in just 12:25 of game action.
Anderson, the CAA’s third-leading scorer, was the driving force of the College’s staunch offense. The senior evaded the Midshipmen to lead both teams with seven goals, most of which she scored in the second half. Anderson missed just one shot all game.
“I was feeling it, but I couldn’t have done it without my teammates,” Anderson said. “It just comes off of the ball movement that we had. We would have three cuts going through, and I would just happen to be that fourth cut coming through wide open.”
In addition to Anderson, senior midfielder Grace Golden continued her string of impressive performances by recording three goals and three assists. Senior midfielder Ashley Holofcener also contributed three goals and three assists, while junior midfielder Kyrstin Mackrides added three goals and one assist.
Defensively, senior goalie Emily Geary turned in another solid performance. Geary recorded seven saves and allowed 10 goals, three of which came with less than three minutes remaining and the win well in hand.
“Emily had a nice day,” Halfpenny said. “She settled into the game, did really well and started attacking the ball and playing her angles really well. I’m really proud of her.”
The contest began at a rapid pace and the goal scoring began almost immediately. Ten minutes had barely run off the clock before both squads had scored four goals apiece. With 17:26 left in the first, Anderson slipped past the Navy defense and found the back of the net, giving the College a 6-5 advantage, a lead that would last the rest of the night. The College then closed the half on a 6-1 run to end the half with an 11-5 lead.
“I think we really learned from our game on Sunday against Penn State,” Anderson said. “We were in that same position where it was like 5-5 at one point … We learned that we just needed to stick together and fight for the draw.”
Navy’s Aimee Gennaro added a quick score to open the second half, but Anderson exploded for four of her seven goals and any hopes of a Navy comeback quickly faded. Holofcener scored a goal with 5:10 remaining in the game to give the College a commanding 17-7 lead, capping a 5-0 Tribe run.