After a promising start to the season, William and Mary (2-1) took its first setback on the field against No. 7 Virginia (5-0) Feb. 26, losing 16-8. The Tribe was within striking distance of the Cavaliers at halftime, trailing by a slim 6-4 margin. However, the Cavaliers jumped out early in the second half; they went on a 7-0 scoring run that left the Tribe in the dust. The College fought back, outscoring the Cavaliers for the remainder of the game; it put away only four more goals making the final score of the contest 16-8.
Even though the Tribe was unable to pull out a victory, several standout performances by the team’s freshman players hint at a promising future for the program. Freshman defender Starr Howard excelled on the draw circle, coming up with a career-high eight draw controls, a tie for fourth most draw controls in school history. On the offensive side, freshman midfielder Isabella Martire led the Tribe in scoring for the second game in a row, earning her second consecutive hat trick and taking the lead in goals-scored this season by the College. Martire’s defense was also notable; she caused the Cavaliers to commit three turnovers. Besides Martire, freshman midfielder Grace Ahonen scored twice as well. Overall, six of the College’s eight goals were scored by freshman.
Not to be outdone, the Tribe’s upperclassmen made significant contributions as well. Senior attacker Maddie Torgerson came up with five draw controls of her own, which, when combined with Howard’s eight brought the team total to thirteen, tying the Cavaliers. On defense, senior defender Anne McElgunn caused three Cavaliers turnovers and two ground balls. Junior goalkeeper Elsa Rall made ten total saves and was responsible for five ground balls.
Though this outing ended in the first loss of the season for the College, and a decisive defeat at that, the individual performances were strong, which is particularly notable when considering that the Cavaliers boast one of the best offenses in the country. The College normally outscores its opponent by an average of 5.5 goals, and the Cavaliers outscore their foes by 7.25 goals on average.
Going forward, the Tribe will continue to face nationally-ranked opponents, taking on No. 15 Duke in Durham Mar. 1. All eyes will be on the College’s young offense, as it attempts to outscore the Blue Devils for an upset victory.