In an evenly matched Colonial Althetlic Association matchup, William and Mary (2-7-2, 0-2-2 CAA) fell 1-0 to rivals James Madison (7-3-2, 5-1 CAA) after failing to prevent a successful second-half penalty kick by the Dukes.
Both teams struggled for much of the first period to find their bearings, resulting in many player substitutions. With different players on the field, the pace of the game changed very quickly, giving the Tribe enough momentum to rush the ball through the Dukes’ defense. Tribe senior forward Antonio Bustamante was able to kick the ball to junior midfielder Reeves Trott, but Trott’s shot hit the post.
The Dukes had a prime scoring opportunity in the final minute of the opening half, with forward Carson Jeffris having a chance at a header shot, which was blocked by Tribe goalkeeper Sam Onyeador. Two more attempts were made by Dukes defenders Niclas Mohr and Jeffris, though neither made it to the back of the net.
Starting the second half, the College saw multiple scoring opportunities. Tribe senior forward Ryder Bell was able to run into a pass within the box, but when his shot was too high. Junior back Tanner Shane was also given a chance at a header shot, but was stopped by Dukes goalkeeper TJ Bush.
In the 67th minute, the College was penalized with a foul for a handball, giving the Dukes a chance to score a penalty kick.
“PKs are tough, you have to try and read the shooter and as a goalie you know the best probability,” Onyeador said. “Right footers tend to go to their left. Unfortunately, it didn’t go my way this time.”
Dukes Manuel Ferriol successfully converted this chance into a tally when he sent his penalty kick to the right side of the frame, while Onyeador leapt to the left.
“The penalty was a very questionable call, but unfortunately that happens in soccer, so we have to stay positive and move on,” head coach Chris Norris said.
The Tribe made several attempts at evening the score in the last few minutes, but ultimately none of these chances panned out. In the final 21 seconds, due to a foul called against the Dukes, Bustamante received the chance to make a free kick, but Bush was successful in making his save and ensuring that the Dukes would win the game.
“We did really well today defensively, we only gave up one chance in the first half at the very end,” Onyeador said. “We have a lot to build on from this.”
The Tribe travels to Newark on Oct. 13th to try its chances against its CAA foe Delaware.
“I am really disappointed and frustrated with the results, but really happy with the performance,” Norris said. “This was significantly our best performance defensively as a group, and there are a lot of positives to build on from the game. We have to continue to do a better job to get more shots on target.”