In a game with massive implications for the conference standings, William and Mary fell behind Delaware early and allowed a goal late in the second half on its way to a 2-0 road loss. The defeat was the second straight for the College and landed the two teams in third place of the CAA.
“I have to give them some credit,” head coach Chris Norris said. “Delaware is a very good team. “
Delaware was able to establish some offensive control early in the game, as the Tribe didn’t record its first shot until the 33rd minute.
Delaware’s solid play paid off in the 20th minute after a fortunate bounce. The Tribe had possession in its half and attempted to cross the ball to the other side of the field. The pass hit the referee, and Delaware moved quickly to collect the live ball and capitalize on the momentary advantage. The ball was eventually knocked to Blue Hens midfielder Evans Frimpong, the CAA’s second-leading scorer, who knocked it home to give Delaware what would prove to be the winning goal.
“The first goal was a bit flukey … it’s nobody’s fault, it’s simply one of those things that happens occasionally,” Norris said. “In this particular situation, we were building out of the back, and unfortunately, the referee got in the way.”
Despite not getting a shot on goal in the first half, the Tribe was able to add more offense in the second half. Norris, realizing his squad was down a goal with 20 minutes left to play and sorely needing an offensive spark, put an additional man forward looking for an equalizer. The Blue Hens took advantage of the undermanned defense on a counterattack, and Frimpong scored his second goal of the game to put the Tribe away for good.
“A team like Delaware is very good on the counter. It’s something they look for all game,” Norris said. “[The pressure] worked for us the way that we wanted to, but when you do that, you obviously make yourself vulnerable.”
For the game, Delaware outshot the College 12-11, and had seven shots on goal compared to the Tribe’s five. Frimpong alone had five shots on goal. Norris said he was pleased with the Tribe’s offense and that many of the College’s shots were good opportunities that just missed.
“We had some very good opportunities, and each time there was just one minor breakdown,” Norris said.
Delaware had four yellow cards in the game, while the College had none. Over the past six games, the Tribe has been outscored 7-2 and has been shut out four times, but three of those games have been against the top three teams in the conference. The Tribe will play against Wake Forest in Winston-Salem tonight before returning to Williamsburg Saturday to play Hofstra. Norris said the team will not overlook Wake Forest, but the squad’s main focus will be on conference play.
“The biggest thing is that we stay together and try to keep doing what we’re doing,” Norris said.