Despite an impressive second half comeback push, William and Mary fell in a heartbreaker at Busch Field Sunday, losing to Richmond, 2-1.
After a difficult first half for the Tribe (6-4, 1-2 CAA) in which Richmond dominated possession, scored and earned countless corners, the Tribe’s late effort to tie it up came up short, as a Spider goal at the beginning of the second half proved too much to overcome.
“We didn’t give up any corners in the second half, and we made some adjustments,” head coach Peel Hawthorne said. “We used a different structure in the second half. We had two different kinds of presses at the expense of playing more breakaways on defense.”
Richmond got on the board near the end of the first period. After the Tribe’s defense was unable to corral and clear a loose ball in front of net, Spider attacker Katelin Peterson tapped it past senior goalkeeper Camilla Hill, giving Richmond a 1-0 lead.
After the break, the College came out determined to up the intensity on offense. The Tribe took six shots in the second half after attempting half that in the first, also earning four corners in the final period.
But the defense faltered again, and Richmond doubled its lead when Richmond’s Chelsea Davies dribbled around Hill and scored in the 49th minute.
The College wouldn’t go down quietly, though, and freshman forward Lindsey Buckheit brought the deficit back down to one, cleaning up the rebound from a shot by freshman forward Emma Clifton and burying it for her second goal of the season. But the Spiders held the Tribe for the remainder of the half, withstanding a flurry of shots as the clock wound down to secure the 2-1 victory.
The College has been plagued with injuries to a number of its starters, such as sophomore midfielder Sarah Morehouse and junior forward Caitlyn Davies. Hawthorne said this has changed the dynamics on the field.
“We are not at full capacity in terms of our lineup — we are a little banged up right now with injuries and illnesses,” she said. “When we went to Delaware we were missing quite a few. Richmond is very well balanced, and has a very tough structure to beat.”
After starting strong, the team has stumbled with the beginning of the conference schedule. The Richmond game marked the College’s third loss in a row, moving the Tribe down to sixth in the CAA.
“We all knew Richmond was a good team, but we also knew it’s a game we could win,” Buckheit said. “It was all about having a good formation, being aggressive, and to keep positioning yourself.”
The Tribe will head North to take on Drexel Friday and Towson Sunday. Drexel currently sits at third place with a 2-1 record in the conference.