Freshman forward Barbara Platenberg scored two goals to lead William and Mary to a hard-fought 2-1 victory at Georgia State Sunday night. The win pushed the College’s winning streak to five and preserved its spot atop the the Colonial Athletic Association standings.
Platenburg scored her first career goal in the 42nd minute and followed up with the game-winner in the 57th minute. A scrappy GSU squad scored the game’s opening goal, heading in a far-post corner in the 41st minute to go ahead. But a minute later, the talented freshman converted on a cross from senior midfielder Cortlyn Bristol to tie the game going into the half.
“[Platenberg’s] a very skillful player,” head coach John Daly said. “She’s tough to handle and can take players on and beat them.”
The College started the game sluggishly, frustrated by Georgia State’s physical play. The Panthers entered the contest second-to-last in the conference standings but toward the top in total fouls.
“We didn’t play particularly well in the first half, but it’s always a tough place to play, and they’re a very physical team,” Daly said.
Daly added that loose officiating may have played into the hands of GSU, including a questionable no-call which may have helped the Panthers in scoring their only goal.
“The refs seemed to turn a blind eye to a lot that was going on,” Daly said. “One of our players felt she was fouled on the play where they scored, which didn’t surprise me with the way the game was going.”
Despite the added challenges, the College regrouped to easily outplay its opponent in the second half. The Tribe had eight second-half shots to just three for GSU, benefiting from an energized defense that was not happy with conceding on a corner-kick for the second straight match.
Goals have been hard to come by against the College this season, which ranks at or near the top of the conference in all defensive categories. That’s little consolation to Daly, who thought the ball should have been cleared before the Panthers ever had a chance to knock it in.
“We gave up a soft goal,” Daly said. “I don’t know if it’s players just not concentrating, but to concede two in two games bothers me.”
The Tribe took control of the match early in the second half, enabling Platenberg to score the game-winner in the 57th minute. With the usual deft passing that has been a trademark of Daly’s teams, senior forward Mallory Schaffer flicked on an aerial pass from Bristol, and Platenberg took a touch before slotting home a perfect shot in the upper-left corner of the net. Daly looks forward to seeing more from his outstanding freshman striker.
“She’s a tricky player to defend,” Daly said. “She’ll be even better as time goes by.”
The College will look to expand its conference lead when it travels to Delaware to take on the Blue Hens Friday.