Facing an in-state opponent for the third straight game, William and Mary continued its winning ways Saturday with a 10-5 road victory over Liberty, the final game before Colonial Athletic Association play begins this week. The win moves the College record to 6-4, the first time since 2010-11 that the Tribe has finished their non-conference slate .500 or above.
After the Flames (1-8) opened the scoring at the 28:45 mark, the College rattled off seven straight goals to close the first half, outshooting the hosts 15-7 in the period. Sophomore midfielder McKinley Wade evened the score at one at 21:36 with the College a man up following a yellow card issued to Liberty’s Colleen Ekert. Sophomore attack Abby Corkum put the Tribe ahead for good two minutes later, scoring off an assist from freshman midfielder Maddie Torgerson.
Following junior midfielder and leading goal-scorer Shannon Quinn’s strike at 14:14, the Tribe netted its final four goals of the first half from free position, the College benefitting from the Flames’ penchant for fouling and entering the half with a 7-1 advantage. No one player did the damage from free position for the College, as each goal came from someone different. Wade and Quinn both picked up their second goals of the match respectively, coming after tallies from sophomore midfielder Emma MacLeod and freshman attack Eloise Gagnon. Quinn’s goal total for the season now stands at 27, the most of any CAA player so far in 2016.
The Tribe dominated the stat sheet in the first half, controlling the game in nearly every facet. In addition to their overwhelming advantage in goals scored and shots, the College claimed 10 ground balls compared to Liberty’s six, and won the draw control battle 6-3. The Tribe back line also had a stellar first 30 minutes, making nine out of 10 successful clears, while senior goalkeeper Meredith Crizer made four of her five saves in the first half.
The second half proved to be much more competitive, with the Flames in fact outscoring the Tribe 4-3. Once again Liberty scored the first goal of the half, however Corkum had the answer at 26:39, finding the back of the net after being denied from free position less than a minute earlier, putting the Tribe ahead 8-2.
Senior attack Kelly Martins padded the lead with her first goal of the season with 22:47 remaining, the College once again a man up due to a Flames yellow card. Martins scored again late in the half, the final goal in the match to give the Tribe their 10-5 winning scoreline.
Liberty scored three unanswered after Martins’ first goal, the Tribe less assertive while holding a commanding lead throughout the second half. The Flames capitalized on the Tribe’s 11 turnovers in the half, even going a man up when sophomore midfielder Lindsay Koch received a yellow card. While the College outshot Liberty 12-9 in the second half, the Flames took better advantage of their chances over the final 30 minutes, buoyed also by goalie Katherine Widrick’s six second-half saves.
Martins scored her second goal from free position with 4:52 to play, and the Tribe didn’t allow a shot on target the rest of the way to close out the commanding 10-5 victory. For the game the College outshot Liberty 27-16, six players scoring in a well-balanced offensive performance. From ground balls to draw controls to turnover margin, the Tribe outperformed the Flames up and down the box score.
The College starts conference play this Saturday, taking on James Madison in Harrisonburg, Va. Start time is set for 1 p.m.