After feeling the sting of a loss Thursday for the first time this season against Richmond, William and Mary (4-2-1) entered Saturday’s contest at East Carolina seeking to right the ship against the Pirates.
After 90 minutes of swashbuckling, the College left Greenville, N.C., feeling as low as Davy Jones’ Locker after a disappointing 2-2 tie.
“It was above average without being where we needed it to be,” head coach John Daly said. “I thought we needed to be more efficient and clinical with our play in the attacking third. They retreated a lot and gave up ground. We had a lot of possession and more shots but we didn’t really take advantage.”
The Tribe began the match on a high note, as junior midfielder Mallory Schaffer took the feed from sophomore forward Audrey Barry and fired a shot past the ECU keeper after just 10 minutes had elapsed in the game. Schaffer’s score gave the College an early 1-0 advantage, a lead it would keep for the majority of the first half.
While Daly was happy with Schaffer’s performance, he offered some constructive criticism.
“Mallory played well; she did really well; she won the ball leading to the opening goal and got on the end of the cross from Audrey Barry to finish it,” Daly said. “She really needed to steady us down a bit in midfield, she needs to take control emotionally of the team.”
The Tribe cruised along for the majority of the first half, registering three shots on goal. But just as the period was set to come to a close, the Pirates evened the count at one goal apiece on the strength of Kelley Johnson’s first goal of the season.
“We scored a good early goal but we gave up a very soft goal,” Daly said of his team’s first half performance.
After the break, the College once again scored quickly. Junior forward Cortlyn Bristol drove the ball on the attack and found freshman midfielder Aly Shaughnessy. Shaughnessy set up, and slipped the ball past the ECU keeper in the lower-left corner for her first ever career goal.
Midway through the second half, however, ECU leveled the score once again. The Pirates’ Lexi Miller scored a header goal in the 71st minute to tie the match at 2-2.
Junior goalkeeper Katherine Yount made two crucial saves, but she also allowed two scores. Along with Yount, Daly thought that his defense did not perform exceptionally well.
“We should have done a better job defensively,” Daly said.
The game then proceeded to two overtime periods, neither of which yielded a winner for either squad. Bristol launched a shot in the first overtime period, but wasn’t able to convert it. Likewise, freshman forward Anna Madden registered a shot on goal in the second overtime, but it also did not connect.
On the whole, the College statistically dominated the game. The Tribe recorded 17 shots on goal to ECU’s 10, with 11 of those shots coming in the second half alone. The Tribe also bested the Pirates in corner kicks 5-2, but ECU registered nine saves on goal to the Tribe’s two.
While the outcome was not what the College had hoped, Daly felt that the match helped the Tribe learn a few lessons that would serve them well for the rest of the season.
“I was a bit concerned [coming into the game] and we totally outplayed them,” Daly said. “It’s one that we let slip. We have to be more efficient with our finishing.”