As the race atop the conference tightens with every passing week, each result becomes more and more important. It seemed only fitting, then, that William and Mary’s crucial weekend road dates against Delaware and Towson could not be resolved in regulation.
The College secured a spot in the upcoming CAA tournament on the strength of a game-winning goal by freshman Taelor Salmon in the third overtime period against Delaware Friday, giving the Tribe an 11-10 victory in Dover, Del. Two days later, the College dropped a 12-11 decision when Towson’s Rhiannon Coogle slipped past the Tribe defense to notch the winning tally with 39 seconds remaining in overtime.
“We are coming off a weekend that was very important,” head coach Christine Halfpenny said. “It presented an opportunity to clinch a CAA Tournament [berth] with a win. Obviously, Delaware was a good gut-check game for us … It was really important to go into the Towson game knowing we clinched a spot in the CAA Tournament.”
The College’s wild weekend puts the squad’s record at 9-6 overall and 4-2 in the conference, good for third place. Towson, meanwhile, moves to 10-6 overall and 6-1 in the conference, which means that the Tigers will host the CAA tournament in two weeks.
Friday’s match featured a balanced offensive outing for the College, as eight players registered goals. Senior midfielder Ashley Holofcener recorded a game high four points on two goals and two assists, while senior defender Sarah Jonson also had a solid day against the Blue Hens, tallying three caused turnovers. With the performance, Johnson took sole-possession of the Tribe’s all-time caused turnovers record with 132.
The match was a game of streaky play, as Delaware opened the second half with four straight goals, only to see the Tribe answer with a 6-0 run. The Blue Hens then scored two more, including one with 28 seconds remaining in the match, to knot the score at 10-10.
After two scoreless overtime periods, Salmon was able to break down the defense and provide the College with the crucial conference win.
“Having Taelor step up to run a play at the end of the game for us and to stay with it was outstanding,” Halfpenny said.
Sunday’s match, in contrast, was a frenetic affair that featured 10 ties and a multitude of lead changes. Freshman attacker Jenna Dougherty got the College on the board at the 18:21 mark in the first half, converting on a free position shot to give the Tribe a 1-0 lead.
From there, the match went back and forth all game. Towson scored two consecutive goals to take a brief 2-1 lead, but subsequently allowed sophomore midfielder Kyrstin Mackrides to even the score at 2-2 with 10:16 remaining in the opening half.
Towson would go on to score three more goals while the College added two more on the half, and the Tribe went into the locker room down 5-4 at the break.
When play resumed, however, senior midfielder Grace Golden wasted no time in evening the score. Twenty-two seconds after the whistle sounded to start the second, Golden broke through the Towson defense and found the back of the net to knot the contest at 5-5.
“In the next 20 minutes, the contest continued to be close,” Halfpenny said.
But Towson’s Jess Dunn scored on a feed from Jackie LaMonica with 7:45 remaining to give the Tigers a 10-9 edge. Just two minutes later, though, senior attacker Maggie Anderson evened the score at 10-10 with her first goal of the day. The two squads then traded goals in the waning minutes to send the game into overtime.