Men’s soccer: Tribe drops CAA opener in overtime thriller at Delaware

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September 18, 2016

8:35 PM

William and Mary had its five-game winning streak snapped Saturday evening in heartbreaking fashion, falling to Delaware 2-1 in the last second of overtime in its first 2016 Colonial Athletic Association match.

The Tribe (5-2, 0-1 CAA) was on the back foot from kickoff, creating virtually no scoring chances in the first half and failing to record a single shot in the opening 45 minutes. Comparatively, the Blue Hens (6-1, 1-0 CAA) fired seven shots and a lone corner kick.

However, the Tribe went into the locker room unscathed thanks to a strong defensive effort headlined by redshirt junior goalkeeper Phil Breno. Breno made four of his career-high nine saves in the first half, keeping the College in the match despite his teammates’ inability to manufacture opportunities on the other end of the pitch. The rest of the defense also played its part, coming up big with two key blocks to keep Delaware off the score sheet.

Breno made four of his career-high nine saves in the first half, keeping the College in the match despite his teammates’ inability to manufacture opportunities on the other end of the pitch.

Breno and the back line’s first half heroics paid off in the beginning of the second half, as the College took the lead courtesy of a 49th-minute goal by senior forward Reilly Maw. Maw received a pass from freshman midfielder Reeves Trott, dribbling to his left before depositing the ball in the net from 10 yards out, his second goal of the campaign.

The Blue Hens quickly pushed for an equalizer after the surprise goal, putting shots on frame in the 51st and 59th minutes, but Breno once again came up with crucial saves. With Delaware’s pressure mounting, junior forward William Eskay received a yellow card in the 61st minute.

The Tribe defense finally conceded in the 66th minute as Delaware forward Guillermo Delgado beat Breno with a close-range strike to knot the score at one apiece. The Blue Hens nearly took the lead a couple minutes later, but Delaware midfielder Ben Sampson’s effort was denied by the crossbar. Both teams had chances over the final 20 minutes, but neither squad could find the finishing touch, and the match went to overtime.

The Blue Hens snatched victory with the very last kick of the game, Delaware midfielder Jaime Martinez knocking the ball across the goal line as time expired to give Delaware the hard-fought 2-1 win.

Similarly to the first half, the College could not construct a scoring chance in the first 10-minute overtime period. The Blue Hens attempted two shots, one of which was on-frame and saved by Breno.

The Tribe had a golden chance to take the lead early in the second period of overtime, but junior forward Antonio Bustamante’s effort was saved by Delaware keeper Todd Morton. The Blue Hens snatched victory with the very last kick of the game, Delaware midfielder Jaime Martinez knocking the ball across the goal line as time expired to give Delaware the hard-fought 2-1 win.

After this heartbreaking road loss, the Tribe will host No. 2 North Carolina at Martin Family Stadium Tuesday night. The match is scheduled to kick off at 7 p.m.

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  • Josh Luckenbaugh

Flat Hat Sports Editor Josh Luckenbaugh '18 is a sophomore from Leesburg, VA, majoring in English.