William and Mary lost 17-7 in Durham, N.C., to No. 8 Duke Sunday, marking the Tribe’s second consecutive loss to a nationally-ranked team.
Since 2012, the College (0-2) has faced 16 opponents in the top 25, including three No.1 teams and 14 within the top 10. All were non-conference games and each ended in defeat for the College. Not only does the Tribe hold a 0-16 mark against ranked opponents, but its average loss over that three-year stretch is 9.9 points.
The College never had a chance Sunday. Unable to find any rhythm, the Tribe offense stalled out for the entire first half and was scoreless for the first fourteen minutes of the second for a total of 44 scoreless minutes.
Defensively, the Tribe struggled to slow the onslaught, giving up 34 shots. However, sophomore goalie Alex Lista fought ferociously in the net, denying Duke (5-0) with 11 saves. Ineffective offense with little production put the Tribe in a 14-0 deficit with 16 minutes remaining.
Freshman midfielder Emma MacLeod finally broke the shutout by penetrating the Blue Devils’ defense to put the Tribe on the scoreboard with an unassisted goal. Senior defender Allison Henry quickly followed suit at the 14:07 mark with a goal of her own off of a free-position shot.
Just over a minute later, junior midfielder Michelle Goss added a goal as the Tribe offense began a comeback bid. MacLeod kicked into high gear with a pair of unassisted goals at 12:38 and 9:08, completing a hat trick to bring the Tribe’s scoring streak to 5-0.
However, the attempt proved to be both too little and too late. Duke capitalized on two more opportunities before the Tribe’s attack could regain its momentum. Freshman midfielder Meghan Brophy added two goals in the final three minutes, one off an assist from freshman midfielder McKinley Wade. Duke then added the coup-de-grace with a goal in the final 59 seconds, bringing the final score to 17-7.
The Tribe did have some bright moments in the second half. The College tied Duke at 12 shots in the second.
Draws proved to be a bright spot throughout the game. Senior midfielder Ellen Shaffrey dominated the draws in the second half, as the Tribe claimed a 10-4 advantage in the second half, en route to a total 16-10 draw control mark. The College managed a 7-6 point advantage in the second half.
So far this season, the College has been successful on 82 percent of its clears, an area of difficulty from last season.
The Tribe averages only three fewer groundballs and just three more turnovers than its top-ranked opponents.
The College’s road stretch continues at Navy in Annapolis, Md., this Saturday at 12 p.m.