Jul. 24, 2014

Lacrosse: Tribe stumbles in weekend games

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April 14, 2014

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Faced with two Colonial Athletic Association away matchups against favored opponents over the weekend, William and Mary fell first Friday to Towson by a margin of 16-11, and then lost 14-8 to Delaware Sunday.

The College (2-11, 0-3 CAA) opened the game strong at Towson, building a 2-1 lead in the first five minutes. However, the early momentum quickly slipped to the Tigers (8-6, 3-1 CAA), who posted a 3-0 run in just two minutes. The Tribe never retook the lead and went into the locker room trailing 8-5. Tribe defense however, performed far better than the score would indicate, as the Tigers held a critical 11-3 advantage in draws for the first half, a huge factor in possession time.

Ten minutes into the second half, Towson’s lead became unmanageable following a 6-2 Tigers run. The College’s attack was able to increase its shot total from nine in the first half to 15 in the second, but Towson also added to their first-half shot total, accumulating a final shot margin of 31-24 in the Tigers’ favor.

The Tribe’s draw controls improved significantly in the second half, as they outperformed Towson 8-7. In the last twenty minutes, the Tribe outscored Towson 5-3, including a 4-0 run to close out the game. But the damage was already done, and the Tigers walked away with a 16-11 conference victory in a statistically even matchup.

The College did have a number of bright spots in the game, particularly the individual performance of junior attack Alexi Farmakis. Farmakis scored four goals and assisted on another. Senior attack Taelor Salmon, the Tribe’s lead scorer, was well contained by the Towson defense.

Senior goalkeeper Colleen Nofi played the entire 60 minutes of the contest, marking the first time since the 19-3 loss to Maryland March 5th that she had played an entire game. It is also the first time since the Maryland game that Nofi played more minutes than sophomore goalkeeper Meredith Crizer, who had been receiving the majority of playing time. Nofi finished with 7 saves against Towson.

Despite having only a single day between games, the Tribe stormed to a quick 3-0 lead against Delaware in the first six minutes. However, the College sputtered out on both sides of the ball, allowing the Blue Hens to go on a 6-0 run that lasted 22 minutes. Individual performances dominated the game: the College and Delaware exchanged goals to go into the half 7-4 with all but one of the total 11 goals coming unassisted.

The second half was eerily similar to the first. The Tribe fired out a 2-0 lead in the first five minutes, only to squander the momentum by allowing another 6-0 Delaware run that lasted eight minutes. Salmon added her third goal of the contest and her 20th of the season with 14:54 remaining. Just 50 seconds later, sophomore Campbell Collier added another goal, raising Tribe hopes of a late surge. However, the Blue Hens’ defense stiffened, and closed out the game for a 14-8 defeat of the College.

Salmon scored 3 goals, Farmakis added another 2, and Quinn and Collier had one apiece. Freshman midfielder Abby Junior added her first of her career.

Nofi made six saves in 45 minutes of action, as head coach Hillary Fratzke returned to rotating goalies, playing Crizer for the remaining 15 minutes.

With the loss, the Tribe moves closer elimination from CAA tournament contention, which would mark the third straight year the team has not qualified for the tournament. The Tribe must win both of its conference games this week to salvage a shot at the making the tournament

Another tough weekend looms ahead for the Tribe. The College faces two home conference games in three days against Hofstra (5-8, 0-2) and Drexel (6-7, 1-1). The first game is slated for 7 p.m. Friday while the matchup against Drexel begins at 1 p.m. Sunday.

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Sumner Higginbotham

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