William and Mary bounced back from a disappointing loss to Northeastern with a 1-0 shutout victory at conference foe Hofstra Sunday. The win moved the College to 8-2 and 1-1 in Colonial Athletic Association play.
The difference in the game was an opportunistic goal from senior forward Leah Zamesnik off a penalty corner in the 20th minute. After senior defender Christine Johnson received the corner and fired a shot at the post, Zamesnik poked her stick out and redirected the ball into the back of the cage to put the Tribe up 1-0.
“Leah played better this weekend than I’ve seen her play all year,” head coach Peel Hawthorne said.
Zamesnik would finish the game with two shots, both on goal, while Johnson registered three shots (two on goal) and the assist on Zamesnik’s score.
For most of the first half, Hofstra forced the action, taking eight shots to the College’s five and earning four penalty corners to the Tribe’s three in the opening period. Hawthorne said the College’s midfield was handcuffed for much of the game, but that the defense played solid.
“We were a little bit shut out in our midfield,” Hawthorne said. “But I’m proud of the way our team can adapt to what other teams try to do to us.”
The second half saw the teams evenly match each other’s offensive outputs. The Pride took five shots while the College took six and Hofstra earned three penalty corners to the Tribe’s two. All told, Hofstra finished the day with nine shots on goal, the College with seven.
The Tribe’s win was in large part due to stellar goalkeeping from senior Elizabeth Frey, who turned back a season-high nine shots to notch her fifth win and third shutout this season.
“It just takes one goal to win and that’s where we were with Hofstra,” Hawthorne said. “We were lucky to convert on one of our corners and the defense played a very strong game.”
But after a loss to Northeastern in which penalty corners were crucial and conceding seven corners to Hofstra, Hawthorne said the team needs to focus on limiting those chances for opponents.
“We’re going to have to work on making sure we can minimize the penalties inside the circle,” Hawthorne said.
The victory was the Tribe’s first in conference play this season. With a difficult non-conference schedule now mostly behind the team (two non-CAA games remain, one with Richmond and the other with Wake Forest), Hawthorne said the team needs to continue playing at a high-level to be successful in the eight-team CAA.
“We know the conference is tough and we have our work cut out for ourselves,” Hawthorne said. “The parity in the conference is such that every game is a battle.”
Next up on that conference slate is Delaware, who will travel to Williamsburg Friday.