When it left Williamsburg for Norfolk and the ODU/Stihl Soccer Classic Friday, William and Mary apparently forgot to pack its offensive prowess, and came home after dropping games to Monmouth and East Tennessee State by a combined score of 3-0 and with a 2-3 record.
Against Monmouth, it was clear that the attacking wasn’t in sync. The Tribe didn’t put a shot on goal until the 66th minute when sophomore forward John Ciampa’s rip was stonewalled by Monmouth goalkeeper Alex Blackburn, who would not be tested again.
The No. 13 Hawks pounced shortly after, as George Quintano knocked an R.J. Allen feed past freshman goalkeeper Bennett Jones.
That was all it took to down the College, as Monmouth controlled the pace of the game and finished with a 12-7 advantage in shots taken.
The Tribe looked to rebound in another tough game, this time on Sunday against No. 19 East Tennessee State.
The College would get an early chance this time, as Ciampa headed a cross from junior midfielder Ben Anderson on goal but at the Buccaneers’ keeper in the 14th minute.
The Tribe created another golden opportunity to take a 1-0 lead in the 34th minute. Freshman midfielder Chris Albiston found himself one-on-one with ETSU goalie Ryan Coulter after fielding a pass from freshman forward Josh West. But Coulter won the battle, turning away Albiston’s effort and going on to serve as the Buccaneer’s brick wall, racking up six saves and shutting out the College.
The difference in the game was the way ETSU capitalized on its offensive openings. The teams were knotted at 7 shots apiece when the first half came to a close, but the scoreboard read 1-0 in favor of the Buccaneers after ETSU defender Simon Schroettle beat senior goalkeeper Colin Smolinsky on a direct free kick in the 43rd minute.
The College continued to create scoring chances in the second half, outshooting the Buccaneers 9-5. But again, ETSU chose its shots wisely, as Buccaneer Frank Doumbe beat Smolinsky — who finished the game with four saves — in the 84th minute to put the nail in the College’s coffin.
Inconsistency has plagued the team during the non-conference portion of the schedule. The Tribe opened the year ranked at No. 13 and got off to a quick start, upsetting No. 5 Southern Methodist University on the Mustangs’ home turf.
But any momentum the team picked up of that win quickly vanished, as it came home to get crushed, 3-0, by unranked St. John’s. After squeaking by Loyola at home, 1-0, the College went to Norfolk looking to get back in the win column before kicking off its conference schedule, which starts Saturday at UNC-Wilmington.
The team can, at the least, take solace in the fact that the conference schedule is not that difficult. The College is the only team in the CAA ranked in the top 25.