William and Mary began a three game homestand Friday night in a cutthroat Colonial Athletic Association game against Drexel. The Tribe (8-5, 4-0 CAA) conquered the Dragons (7-8, 0-3 CAA) in a 2-1 overtime victory.
The game moved fluidly in the opening minutes, as the ball moved from end line to end line. The Dragons had a penalty corner in the 14th minute, which resulted in the first goal of the game. Defender Puk Thewessen sent the ball from the top of the circle to the close post, where forward Tess Bernheimer swept the ball into the back of the cage past freshman goalkeeper Kimi Jones.
“Until they got their first corner I thought we were playing a good passing game and slightly dominating,” head coach Tess Ellis said.
The Tribe earned several looks at goal in the following minutes, but was unable to connect with the back of the net.
“Tactically the two coaches from Drexel are very smart,” Ellis said. “I think we kept dribbling into their stick. They [Drexel] have a very good low indoor tackles and we were sort of playing into their strengths.”
The score remained 1-0 in favor of the Dragons as the two teams entered the half.
“[For] the second half, we talked about moving our forwards higher and creating space in behind their midfield, which I think gave us more opportunities on cage,” Ellis said.
After 10 minutes of intense play entering the second half, the Tribe earned its first goal in the 45th minute. Senior midfielder Estelle Hughes fought through a horde of defenders and slid the ball to sophomore forward Melanie Strik, tying the match at 1-1.
Following its first goal, the College gained momentum and had several close opportunities to pull into the lead. In the 57th minute, the College ripped a shot towards the net, forcing goalkeeper Erin Gilchrist to make a diving save.
The Tribe locked in to its attacking half and took a total of 15 shots in the half, but due to Drexel’s strong defense, the College was unable to collect another goal.
“I think our biggest thing in the second half was just picking up our energy,” junior midfielder Christie van de Kamp said. “We started the first half a little low in that area, so we were just trying to refocus.”
Despite the Tribe’s increase in energy, regulation play ended with the two teams neck-in-neck, propelling the match into overtime.
In the 74th minute of the game, a penalty corner was awarded for the Tribe.
Van de kamp took the penalty stroke and expertly placed it past the goalkeeper ensure that the Tribe earned a spot in the CAA postseason tournament.
“We knew we had to win,” Ellis said. “We’re going to conference, which was the first goal of the season.”
The Tribe will host CAA foe Delaware Sunday at 12 p.m. for its third-to-last regular season match.