Men’s soccer: College drops rain-soaked match against No. 23 Hofstra
Written by Vansh Bansal|
October 5, 2015
In a game that was moved from Martin Family Stadium to Sanford B. Wanner Stadium in Williamsburg, Va. due to weather, William and Mary fell 1-0 in double-overtime to Colonial Athletic Association opponent No. 23 Hofstra. Wind and rain dictated the style of play, as the poor conditions made scoring difficult for both teams’ attacking players.
Both teams nearly scored in the opening 10 minutes. The visiting Pride (8-2, 3-0 CAA) forced freshman goalkeeper Sam Onyeador into a save after putting a shot just wide of the post. Tribe (4-4-2, 1-2) senior forward Jackson Eskay shot on goal in the 10th minute, but Hofstra goalkeeper Patric Pray parried the ball away.
Senior midfielder Ryan Flesch drew a yellow card later in the half, the lone booking of the entire match. Neither team put any significant pressure on goal the rest of the half, and both sides entered the break scoreless. Hofstra outshot the College by three, but had no lead to show for it.
As the second half progressed, Onyeador made two crucial saves to keep the Pride off the board. He played 80 minutes in his first collegiate match and stopped three Hofstra shots for the Tribe until junior Mac Phillips replaced him.
“For his first college start, I think Sam did really well overall,” head coach Chris Norris told Tribe Athletics. “It’s about as difficult a night as you can get for your first college start … because of the conditions and the quality of the opponent.”
After both sides traded chances to begin overtime, the Pride finally grabbed the golden goal in the second extra period. Hofstra midfielder Nino Alfonso found teammate Mani Walcott on the break, and Walcott found enough space to finish to the right of the goal. With the win, Hofstra dropped the Tribe’s overtime record to 2-1-2 for the season.
“The conditions made it tough to play, and I definitely think that that hurt us,” Norris said to Tribe Athletics. “The rain and the wind made it so that there was a lot of direct service, there was a lot of just battling for second balls and we never got into any kind of rhythm, in terms of trying to connect things in the attacking half. I felt like a draw would have been a fair result, but I definitely didn’t feel like we played well enough to win it.”
William and Mary only recorded two shots on goal the entire game, and failed to trouble the Pride defense.
“They did some things well defensively to make it difficult for us,” Norris told Tribe Athletics. “They played us very tight, they were very physical. We held onto the ball too much in a lot of situations when we needed to take advantage of that tight pressure.”
The Tribe now enjoys a week of rest before it travels for a two game conference road trip. The College faces Northeastern next Saturday, and then faces James Madison on Oct. 14.