Women’s Soccer: College comes back to beat Bucknell, falls to No. 5 Texas A&M

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In two games over the week, the Tribe went 1-1. COURTESY PHOTO // TRIBE ATHLETICS

This week, William and Mary split two matches. Thursday, the Tribe (3-4-0) won a thriller against Bucknell before the College dropped a contest against No. 5 Texas A&M Sunday.

Thursday, for the second game in a row, the Tribe scored two goals in the last five minutes of a match — this time in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania — to overcome a deficit and secure a regulation win as the College came back to down Bucknell (2-4-1), 3-2.

Sophomore defender Alex Kuhnle, scorer of the buzzer-beating game winner in the Tribe’s last comeback win against Liberty Sept. 2, opened scoring in Thursday’s match with a long-distance shot off an assist by junior defender Hannah Keith. The visitors managed to maintain that 1-0 lead throughout the first half, helped by four saves in the first 45 minutes from senior goalkeeper Sara Vigen.

Despite Tribe domination of both shots and possession, it was the Bison that broke through with a pair of goals after more than 60 scoreless minutes. Midfielder Carly Baggott headed in a corner kick in the 78th minute. Three minutes later, defender Claire Mensi drew a penalty kick that she then placed into back of the net, putting Bucknell up 2-1 with less than 10 minutes left in the match.

Bucknell looked like they were about to close out the victory when, with just three minutes remaining, junior forward Sully Boulden fought to get a rebound from senior midfielder Mackenzie Kober over the goal line, tying the game at 2-2.

With just over a minute left in regulation time, sophomore midfielder Meredith Beam scored off the left post on an assist from freshman midfielder Renee Kohler, putting the College up 3-2 and completing a last-minute comeback victory for the second match in a row.

After going 0-3 to open its season, the Tribe pulled even at 3-3-0 thanks to a two-goal game from redshirt junior forward Sarah Segan against Coastal Carolina, followed by the two comeback victories against Liberty and Bucknell. With Kuhnle’s opening goal against Bucknell Thursday, she became the second player on the team to reach multiple goals on the season after Segan.

Kuhnle, Segan and the rest of the team then headed to College Station, Texas, to take on Texas A&M. The Aggies made history Sunday as they started their season with eight-straight victories for just the third time in their school’s history. They fought through a tenacious showing by the College, including a 12-save performance by junior goalkeeper Katelyn Briguglio, as the Aggies (8-0-0) downed the College, 2-0.

The Tribe was immediately barraged by shots to open the match, with Briguglio absorbing eight in just the first 15 minutes. Despite her strong performance in net, it was an own goal on a corner kick that would eventually get the Aggies onto the scoreboard, allowing them a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute of play.

The College made a push at the very end of the first half, with both Segan and Kohler getting opportunities that went wide of the goal.

In the second half, with a wave of substitutions refreshing the roster, the Tribe diligently withstood a flood of offense from the Aggies. But unlike in its past two matches, there was to be no late comeback, and a second goal conceded in the final 10 minutes would make it a 2-0 victory for Texas A&M.

The Aggies, ranked No. 5 in the country, buried the College in shots 27-5 — including 14-2 shots on goal — but Briguglio’s 12 saves kept the visitors in the match. The loss snaps a three-game winning streak and lowers the College’s record to 3-4-0. The Tribe will return home next weekend to play a 2 p.m. game against Virginia Military Institute at Albert-Daly Field.