After a week off due to Hurricane Joaquin postponing a game at Elon, William and Mary opened its final regular season homestand with an overtime thriller, as senior forward Katie Johnston scored in the 95th minute to clinch a 1-0 triumph over Colonial Athletic Association opponent College of Charleston.
“It certainly wasn’t a spectacle of soccer,” head coach John Daly told Tribe Athletics. “It was really more of a battle, with both teams cancelling each other out. They certainly did a good job of cancelling us out, although we did have three times as many shots as they did.”
Indeed the Tribe (8-3-1, 2-1 CAA) had the better of the chances throughout the match, shooting 16 times and seven corner kicks compared to the Cougars’ (8-6, 2-3 CAA) meager five attempts on goal.
The first half didn’t feature a shot on frame until the 31st minute, when senior forward Barbara Platenberg’s drive forced a save from Charleston goalkeeper Lauren Killian. The Cougars nearly seized the lead in the 36th, but forward Jessica Schifer’s header ricocheted off a post then dribbled out of play. The College created more chances in the first half, outshooting the visitors 5-2, but lacked a finishing product — Platenberg’s was the only Tribe attempt that threatened the goal.
“We started off slow in the first half,” Johnston told Tribe Athletics. “Our game plan was to high press them, and we didn’t really start doing that until the second half.”
Charleston made a rare attack on goal to open the second half, but senior goalkeeper Caroline Casey stood strong, parrying away Schifer’s long distance attempt in the 47th minute. The Tribe quickly picked up the pressure, getting three shots off within the first 10 minutes of the half. Johnston and senior forward Samantha Cordum fired over the crossbar in the 50th and 52nd minutes, respectively, while sophomore forward Sami Grasso forced a save out of recently-introduced Cougar goalkeeper Genevieve Henderson in the 55th.
The College maintained control of the pace of play throughout the second half, shooting 10 times and taking five corners. Sophomore back Haley Kent fired from distance in the 67th minute and Platenberg sent a header towards goal in the 73rd, but Henderson was there to stifle the threats to her net. Charleston broke through on a counter attack in the 12 minutes before the end of the half, but Schifer’s effort was once again stopped by Casey.
The final seven minutes of regulation saw a Tribe assault on the Cougar net, but when the end-of-regulation whistle blew, no goals had been scored. Johnston put a header off a corner high, followed by an effort from senior midfielder Leci Irvin that sailed wide. Both Grasso and Platenberg threatened the net in the last four minutes but Henderson saved both attempts to keep her clean sheet heading into overtime.
The College found its winner in the first five minutes of the extra period. Sophomore midfielder Rachel Moore made a deep run on the edge of the box and sent a pass towards the center of the 18-yard box. The ball found the foot of Johnston, who buried her shot in the bottom right corner of the net to give the Tribe a 1-0 win.
William and Mary concludes its 2015 home schedule Sunday when it welcomes North Carolina—Wilmington to Martin Family Stadium. The game is scheduled to kick off at 2 p.m. with a special ceremony to honor the nine seniors following the match.