A pair of second-half goals and top-notch goalkeeping gave William and Mary the edge over Princeton Friday, breaking a three-game winless streak as the team concluded its non-conference schedule.
The Tribe, trying to fight its way back into the national rankings after a disappointing loss to Richmond and tie with East Carolina, moved to 5-1-3 on the season with goals from freshman forward Emory Camper and junior midfielder Mallory Schaffer in a contentious matchup with the Tigers.
“This is huge,” Schaffer said. “Three games without a win, to get one [Friday night] is clutch.”
Chances were abundant for both sides in the first, but some excellent goalie play kept the game scoreless in the first half.
Junior goalkeeper Katherine Yount asserted herself in goal midway through the first period. A deflected Princeton pass found Princeton forward Sara Chehrehsa with a good look at goal from about 16 yards out. She fired at the top left corner, but Yount made a high-flying save to keep the game tied.
The Tribe nearly got on the board in the 36th minute when a bounding loose ball wound up at Schaffer’s feet just outside the 18 yard box. Schaffer ripped a shot on goal, but this time it was Princeton keeper Claire Pinciaro making the beautiful diving save. At the end of the first period, the Tribe had the advantage in shots, eight to seven, and Pinciaro had already racked up seven saves.
The game got testy in the secon half, as the two teams fought hard to gain an advantage. In the 53rd minute, an altercation after a hard sliding tackle erupted between freshman forward Anna Madden and Princeton’s Kacie Kergides. With Madden on her back and Kergides standing over her, the Tiger appeared to step on Madden.
“Coming into the game, we knew they were going to be tough competiton,” Schaffer said. “When it’s that close of a game, chippiness happens. It’s part of the game.”
Play was stopped and both were handed yellow cards, but the physicality from both sides continued.
“That’s just two teams fighting hard to get a win,” head coach John Daly said.
The College finally broke through in the 65th minute. Camper, who had only recently came onto the pitch as a substitution, made a well-timed run to get behind the Tigers’s defense and received a beautiful through ball from Schaffer. With only the keeper to beat, Camper tucked it in the right side of the net from about six yards out for her fifth goal of the season to give the Tribe a 1-0 lead.
Schaffer then put the game out of reach in the 73rd. Freshman defender Emily Fredrikson sent a free kick into the box. Camper stuck her foot out and got a piece of it, sending it right to Schaffer behind the defense, who looped it over Pinciaro for her fourth of the year.
“I don’t know how I got the ball, but [Camper] got a great touch on it,” Schaffer said. “I just managed to get a touch in over the keeper.”
Daly said the win served as a much-needed confidence boost with the team heading into its conference schedule, which will begin when Towson comes to Martin Family Stadium Friday.
“It helps [going into CAA play],” he said. “We were beginning to wonder, three games without a win.”