It wasn’t pretty at times, but William and Mary did enough Sunday afternoon to earn a 2-2 draw against Villanova and clinch the Nike Tribe Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriott Invitational tournament. The Wildcats, who remain undefeated, gave the Tribe the toughest challenge of its season after the College had won its first four games by a combined score of 14-1. The tie came on the heels of an impressive upset victory Friday over No. 13 Georgetown.
“It was a little bit of a come-down for us,” Head Coach John Daly said. “We picked things up, but we never really dominated the game the way we’re capable of.”
Villanova struck first in the 10th minute, when midfielder Stephanie Myers received a slick pass in the box and buried it in the back of the net to give the Wildcats a 1-0 lead. The Tribe answered back in the 20th, when senior defender Diana Weigel wrapped around a defender, spun and hit a shot from 16 yards out in the lower right corner past the keeper’s reach.
From there the Tribe controlled the flow of the game, possessing the ball in Villanova’s half of the field for much of the period. The College finally took the lead in the 33rd minute, when sophomore forward Audrey Barry centered a pass to freshman forward Emory Camper 12 yards out. Camper took one touch and fired the ball high past the keeper to give the Tribe a 2-1 lead. It was the freshman’s third goal in two games, ultimately garnering her CAA Rookie of the Week honors.
“I saw the ball coming from the right side, and I just placed it,” Camper said, who was also named the tournament’s MVP. “We were really communicating well at that point.”
However, the Tribe wasn’t able to control the game as well in the second half, and the Wildcats took advantage in the 57th minute. Myers found forward Katie Ryan on a long ball up the middle past the Tribe’s back line. Ryan had a step on all of the defenders, and was able to beat junior goalkeeper Katherine Yount on a one-on-one.
“We got caught on a sucker punch,” Daly said.
Following the equalizer, the Tribe had a number of chances to take the lead but was unable to put a serious challenge on goal for the rest of the second half and the ensuing overtime period. The Tribe outshot the Wildcats 17-9 after the half, but Daly was unhappy with some of the shot selection.
“We made some poor decisions,” Daly said. “It cost us a chance of winning.”
The Tribe will go on the road to Richmond and East Carolina before returning to Williamsburg to host Princeton on September 16.